LFA 177’s Shannon Clark: Working on Her Winning Face

Photo courtesy of LFA Fighting

In speaking before her LFA debut last October, Shannon Clark stated that she didn’t really even know if she was good at this whole fighting thing yet. Her fight with Nejra Repp at LFA 170 was one-way traffic the whole way, leading to a dominant 30-27 score on every judges card. The fight moved her perfect record to 4-0, but despite the phenomenal results, her view of her own skills didn’t change at all.

“No, I did not [start to believe I’m good]. I actually have to work on my winning face. I got told by a lot of my friends and family that were watching that it looked like I was the one that lost because I was really upset with my performance,” Clark explained. “I was not happy with myself. So actually, I was more pissed. I was like ‘frick, maybe I’m really not that good yet.”

The observation made by her family and friends was later confirmed by Clark herself. She reviewed the fight, and the decision, and saw what they were talking about.

“I was really upset with myself and unfortunately, with me, it shows it on my face,” she said. “I’m very bad at hiding my facial expressions. So when they raised my hand last fight, I didn’t know I was pouting that bad, but when I rewatched the film it was like ‘oh my gosh, Shannon.”

Even though many others were impressed with her performance, Clark’s face was a direct result of her view of her performance. While she never seemed in danger of losing, she did feel like there was more she could have done – which gave he things to work on for her upcoming fight.

“Probably one of my greatest weaknesses is that I’m really good at listening to my coach,” Clark said. “I see something in a fight that he doesn’t necessarily see, because he can’t from where he is. But since it’s not the plan we had, I stick to the gameplan and I get frsutrated because I’m like ‘that’s right there.”

With that in mind, she continues to work on trusting her own reads in the moment – something her coach has been preaching for some time. She’ll get a chance to do so when she fights for the LFA flyweight title at LFA 177.

Surely, getting a chance at a title in LFA would help convince her that she’s good at fighting. Especially since the LFA flyweight title has only seen four owners – all of which went on to fight in the UFC. However, all of that is news to Clark.

“That’s so news to me. I didn’t know any of that,” she said. “It’s so hard, because I don’t want to come across as naive or anything, but in my mind, it’s just a title fight. Everyone gets offered title fights everywhere. I think I just underestimate how big of a fight this actually is.”

That big fight with Thaiany Lopes will take place this Friday at LFA 177. The main card will begin at 9pm EST and be aired on UFC Fight Pass.

You can hear the entire audio of this interview at 37:56.