Dana White's Contender Series

MMA Talent Shannon Clark Talks DWCS and Journey into MMA

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In a recent episode of the Couch Warrior Podcast, host Mike sat down with Shannon Clark, a rising star in mixed martial arts who is set to compete on this year’s Dana White’s Contender series against fellow undefeated prospect Yuneisy Duben. Shannon’s journey from university soccer player to undefeated professional fighter is as unique as it is inspiring.

DWCS’s Shannon Clark Shares Her Journey from Soccer to Professional MMA

Shannon’s athletic background lies in soccer, a sport she played at the university level. Her transition to mixed martial arts began somewhat serendipitously. “I met a guy who was a fighter, and he brought me into the gym for kickboxing to help with my cardio during the off-season,” she recalls. “I loved it. That was the first time I ever even hit a pad or a bag.”

Her competitive nature took over from there. Once her university soccer career ended, she dedicated more time to MMA, attending more classes and eventually falling in love with the sport. 

“I thought, if I’m training all this, maybe I should see if I can fight,” she says, recounting the initial spark that led her to pursue fighting more seriously.

The Decision to Fight

Shannon’s first amateur fight stemmed from a desire to prove her doubters wrong. 

“A couple of people didn’t think I was really capable of fighting,” she explains. With encouragement from her coach and a commitment to several months of intense training, she stepped into the ring. 

“It took several months of convincing my family. They didn’t believe me because I’d always been the little girl who just played soccer and never punched anyone.”

Balancing Life and Training

Now a full-time fighter, Shannon balances an intense training regimen with her responsibilities as a mother and a professional. “I have a two-year-old and a three-year-old, and I work full-time. It’s a lot of scheduling,” she says. Despite the challenges, she has managed to maintain an undefeated record with five professional wins, three of which are knockouts—a rarity in her division.

Natural Power and Training Dynamics

When asked about her knockout power, Shannon credits her natural disposition. “I think I’m just an angry person,” she laughs. “I’m sure my coach would say I train for it, but honestly, I just go in there and it happens.”

Her recent victory over an undefeated black belt in jiu-jitsu showcased her evolving skill set. Despite coming from a striking background, she choked her opponent out cold with a bulldog choke, a very rare submission in professional mixed martial arts. 

The Path to the Contender Series and Looking Ahead

Shannon’s impressive performance caught the attention of the UFC, leading to a call-up for the Contender Series. Despite hearing rumors about the opportunity, she remained skeptical until the contract was in front of her. “I didn’t believe it until I saw it,” she admits. Even now, she finds the reality of her situation somewhat surreal.

As Shannon prepares for her Contender Series bout, she remains focused on the task at hand rather than potential future opponents. 

“I don’t really know a whole lot of people in the UFC,” she confesses. “I’m just starting to watch and learn.”

Regardless of the outcome, Shannon’s journey from soccer fields to the octagon serves as a testament to her determination and adaptability. With a busy life and a promising career in MMA, Shannon Clark is undoubtedly a fighter to watch in the coming years.

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Michael Kachan is a life long MMA fan and has been analyzing and breaking down fights for over four years. He is the host of the Couch Warrior Podcast where he provides weekly MMA breakdowns as well as fighter interviews and more.