Scott Askham: ‘I’m Going To Take Out Michal Materla And Then Mamed Khalidov’
No British fighter has ever gone on to hold a title in Polish outfit KSW, but if Scott Askham has anything to do with it, that will all change very soon.
The Yorkshireman will make his KSW debut this Saturday at KSW 42 when he faces the former KSW middleweight champion, Michal Materla. Askham, speaking to MMAytt.com, explained why the fight was so important to him and his career.
“I know he’s going to be coming in there with a lot of confidence with three finishes in a row, but this isn’t about him, it’s about me.” Askham said. “I know a win against Materla puts me right in the title mix and that’s why I was calling him out from the start.
“I just feel like I never lived up to my potential in the UFC. I know how good I am and I never got to show everyone how good I am. Since leaving the UFC, I’ve fought Luke Barnatt and that was a big fight for me. I finally started to show the potential that I have and I’m at American Top Team working my a** off.
“The training is building my confidence up a lot and I know now I’m in the right place to show everybody what I can do now. It’s time to make a statement against Materla and show everyone where I’m at.”
KSW 42 will take place in Lodz, Poland this Saturday and Askham will likely walk out to the cage in front of a partisan Materla crowd. Whilst his own small pocket of his ‘Askham Army’ followers will be in attendance trying to make their voices heard, Askham knows that he’s going to be walking into an atmosphere that not many would welcome.
“I know it’s going to be hostile,” Askham said. “I imagine it’s going to be a lot like Sweden when I made my UFC debut there. I fought the hometown guy there and the crowd were almost entirely behind him, but I’m not bothered by that at all.
“I’ve experienced that all before. I’m the one who has fought in the UFC on the biggest platforms, not him. I’m just focused on getting that win. This fight is all about me and me showing the world what I can do. They can boo me walking in, but once I put on a show they will cheer me on the way out.”
Askham’s UFC run ended following losses to Jack Hermansson and then Bradley Scott at UFC London last March. Proving to the world that was a mistake appears to be a real driving force behind his motivation to continue fighting and this Saturday he plans on going back to using the skills that got him to the highest level in the sport.
“I feel like I never went into my fights with a solid gameplan,” Askham said. “Obviously, I was a striker looking to strike, but I worked on my grappling so much I kind of forgot my bread and butter.
“Josh Koscheck is the best example of what happened to me. He stopped working on his wrestling and he lost what made him a good fighter. It was the same with me and my boxing. I was so focused on other things, I didn’t focus on what I was actually good at.
“We’ve brought my focus back around to my striking now and it’s now the thing I focus on the most. It’s on another level now and I don’t think he’s going to be able to live with it. I’m going to finish him.”
With his confidence now restored, Askham feels like he’s in the right place to show the world his true form. His KSW career starts this weekend, but Askham has a plan already and it involves taking out the company’s biggest names.
“I’m going in here to put on a show and put him away early,” Askham said. “Hopefully I can fight again around May time and hopefully he can also stay injury free as well. I want that title and I want to end the year KSW champion.
“When I signed to KSW I told them that they were the two guys I wanted to fight. I’m going to get through Materla now and then I’m taking out Mamed. He’s next.”
Listen to the full interview here: