Azure impressed in his Contender Series triumph over Chris Ocon, then made an instant impact in his promotional debut, out-hustling recent TUF winner Brad Katona to push his record to 8-0. He stumbled in a short-notice featherweight engagement with Brian Kelleher when the action in the Octagon restarted last spring, but rebounded by grinding out another gritty Canadian, Cole Smith, in September to get back into the win column.

A quality wrestler that trains with the Fight Ready camp in Phoenix, Arizona, the 29-year-old Azure is someone many were high on when he arrived on the big stage, and Shore is angling to show his levels by turning him back and taking his spot in line in the bantamweight division.

The Venum Era Has Arrived

“It was the type of fight we wanted; we wanted that step up in class,” admitted the unbeaten Welshman. “I know Hunter has got a very good wrestling background, a good record. I know he suffered a loss to Brian Kelleher, but he’s gone on to go on okay. He’s solid everywhere and it was the step me and the team wanted.

“We want those tougher guys, we want to be moving in the direction of fights that are going to start pushing us up the ladder, rather than fighting guys that are unknown. I think after this fight, if I put on a good performance against a guy like Hunter who is known out there and they’ve seen a lot of — if I can come over and put on a good show, it will open some eyes.”