From the Locker-Room: Scott Askham

Take a moment and imagine. Imagine doing what you always wanted to do. Now imagine doing that in front of tens of thousands screaming fans rooting for your opponent. Not a favorable sight, huh? This is the life of one of the most popular British MMA fighters, Scott Askham is living at the moment. KSW’s Middleweight champion of the world is currently one of the biggest names outside of the UFC and is looking towards building his own legacy one day at a time, fighting in a surging promotion ready to upstage and outwork its competition in Europe (at first).

You started doing MMA when you were a teenager. Did that will to fight come by instinct or you thought about being a fighter professionally when you were a little kid?

I think it came more as a instinct, growing up I did some boxing and watched a lot of MMA. I never really thought about  doing MMA until I watched my friend fight. From that day I was hooked!

When talking about the fight game countries like USA, Brazil, Mexico are often mentioned. Where do you think UK’s fighters rank in that equation and do you see improvements in training camps around the country?

I see massive improvements since when I first started MMA but I feel we are behind some countries. It is what you make of it though. The training is there if you search for it. 

Changing camps could be a major factor in fighter’s improvement You have switched camps to American Top Team in 2017. Do you feel like it made a bigger impact than you at first thought?

Moving to ATT has changed my game big time! I feel a new fighter since joining ATT and feel I will get in there with anyone! Enjoying the ride!

Being a top MMA competitor, fans usually forget about all the hard work and dedication that goes into preparation for the fight itself, before the octagon lights hit. What is the reason that keeps you going?

I started MMA because I just loved the competition, I still love it but now it’s my job so the main reason is to provide for my family. I feel MMA has given me a career in and out of the cage. I am not coaching at the moment but it is an option when I retire. 

If you were to create a perfect fighter using different sport foundations (BJJ, wrestling, boxing, kick-boxing, muay thai, karate), out of which fighters would he consist of? And what would you say is the best foundation for MMA?

I think all fights start standing. Solid strikers with a good TD defense are the best to watch 100! Robbie Lawler is my favorite but don’t really know how to answer this one (haha). 

KSW is a relatively unknown promotion for the US fans, but is certainly at the top of the priority list for the European fans. What has drawn you to the KSW instead of perhaps Bellator or ONE?

Good management since leaving the UFC has lead me down a good path! I still feel being cut was a little short with the move to ATT just before my last fight in the UFC but ultimately I know you’ve got to be winning to be kept by the UFC. Don’t worry about the past. Since leaving the UFC I have hit the ground running! I have beat some big names since leaving the UFC. For those who don’t know, I beat Materla who’s a massive name in Poland (got offered a main event fight in the UFC vs Thiago Santos but turned it down to resign with KSW). I beat this guy twice! Finishing him in the first and the 3rd! Another win since leaving the UFC is Luke Barnatt. These wins have put me in a solid position but ultimately I am happy at KSW! And happy to be their world champion!

With KSW planning on holding its biggest event to date, its 50th card at Wembley, at your home soil. Were you planned for the card and what happened?

Yeah I already had the date to be on KSW 50 before my title fight in May! Unfortunately things didn’t work out as planned. I broke my hand winning the title and ended up out for 12 weeks! Just started back punching this week so just a little too soon! Massive shame but I will still be there as a fan!

Finally, knowing what you went through amidst camps, dieting and tactical preparations, what would you advise younger kids trying to make their name in the world of fighting? 

As a young fighter I feel one of the biggest things outside of training and becoming a better fighter is to work your social media! More fans, easier road and more money! Also get good management that looks out for you. You’ve got to take the right fights at the right time. For example if you have two guys around 3-0, both look like they can go places. Promoters would love to make a fight like this. (A high level fight for cheap) It’s easy for a fighter to say yes to this but really you’ve beaten someone unknown for a high risk fight. If you have good management all this gets taken out of your hands and your management will get you the right fights to get you where you need to be and earning money. It’s not being a “pussy”, it’s just not a fight that makes sense at the time!