An ultimatum can have two outcomes. It can force someone to make a change to their actions in order to adapt to a new way of life, or it can be ignored as the person continues to do the same thing, never changing or evolving.

For Shannon “The Turkish Delight” McClellan, an ultimatum that he was served led him to make a decision that in turn changed his life for the better.

“When I was younger, I started off playing [Rugby League] footy, and I played fullback. I got a shoulder injury, so I had to stop playing,” McClellan told The MMA Corner in an exclusive interview. “I was used to contact sport, so I started off just doing some training with boxing and then some MMA and it felt kinda the same. I didn’t really want to fight though. I just wanted to train. The gym I was at back then told me that I had to fight otherwise I couldn’t train there, so after a while I thought I’d see what it was like. I got in there and enjoyed it, and then I got serious about it.”

McClellan (Victory Management)

Once he had the taste for competitive action, the next thing that he needed was a fight name. With a lot of fighters, a nickname will often come hand in hand with an elaborate back-story, but for McClellan it’s a little different.

“For my first few fights, I didn’t have a nickname,” he said. “So I had a fight and I told the announcer to call out ‘Turkish Delight’ and it kind of stuck. My Dad is Turkish and it’s just an easygoing laid-back kind of name. There are a lot of guys out there with aggressive names. I am an easygoing guy, so I thought it suited me.”

In a perfect world, a fighter would be able to train full-time and focus all of his energy on perfecting his craft. However, like pretty much everybody that hasn’t hit the big time just yet, McClellan has a full-time job to support his young family.

“I work full-time as a mechanic. I wish I could fight every weekend,” he admitted. “I don’t want to be a mechanic for the rest of my life. I am ready to give [mixed martial arts] the biggest and best crack that I can.”

After being unsuccessful in securing a win in his past two professional outings, McClellan realizes that his fight on the Nitro 9 event on July 13 falls into the clichéd category of “do or die.” Looking down the barrel of three losses in a row is something that will test the willpower of any professional fighter, and it’s something that McClellan has dealt with confidently before his upcoming bout.

“I’d never really been worried about going into a fight before,” he said. “Going into my last one, I got a little bit daunted because of [Chris Morris’] high-level gym. I knew that I was going to be analyzed a lot before the fight, so it kind of made me second guess how to go into the fight. This time around, I am a lot more laid back and I have a good game plan that I will just stick to.

McClellan (R) (Nitro MMA/Victory Management)

“I believe Nitro is the best show in Australia. I like fighting in Queensland, I have a lot of friends around the area, so it’s always good to be able to give them a fight. At the same time, though, I do like fighting away from home because I feel there is less pressure.”

After going through his last fight with doubts about how things were going to play out, McClellan doesn’t plan to make the same mistake for his upcoming fight. He has a firm idea of what will happen inside the cage this time.

“I see this one being a stand-up war,” he explained. “I’m going in there for the kill. I have been training my ass off to get back into the winners’ list, and anywhere that this fight goes, I am 110 percent happy with. I think I am going to finish this fight, and it’ll be in the second round.”

Just like he was right before his career had even made a start, McClellan finds himself in a position where one single action can shape the way that his future plays out.

It all started with one simple ultimatum: fight or go home. McClellan chose to fight. Now, come Saturday night, all that’s left to do is to win.

Shannon would like to thank his sponsors: Unrivaled and SK Nutrition. He would also like to thank Victory Management, 5 Rings Dojo and his partner, Bec Fielding.

Top Photo: Shannon McClellan (Victory Management/Penghuynh)

About The Author

Staff Writer, Australia

Located in Queanbeyan, New South Wales, Neil Rooke has been writing about the sport of MMA since 2011. In the past, Neil has written for Cage Junkies and has written for Fight! Magazine as well as Fist! Fight Magazine. Neil is also a regular contributor to Fight! Magazine Australia and Yahoo! Sports Singapore.

  • Dan McClellan

    I am Shannon’s oldest brother and I have been to most of his fights . Shannon is a great fighter and I think with a few more wins will help his future .When fighting with family and friends screaming out would be a distraction for any pro Fighter. Trying to read your appoints next move whilst planing your own. I know I try to be as supporting as possible it’s also a good conferdence boost. To plan your next attack move whilst defending could change the results of a fight within seconds . I wish you the very best bro keep training as hard as you are . You deserve to win nock em Shan

    • Dan McClellan

      Congratulations on your win 13.7.2013 I want to see you win a mma title . Let’s go Shannon