I am not sure whether it is Scott Askham’s West Yorkshire accent or the tone in his voice, but ten seconds into our conversation, I can immediately tell this man loves to fight. Askham was born and raised in West Yorkshire, England and began his Mixed Martial Arts journey in 2010 after a watching a local event. “I went to see a local show and one of my friends was fighting,” Askham tells MMATorch, “His very first kick landed on the head and knocked his opponent down and he ended the fight with an Achilles lock.”
This was the exact moment the 28 year old got a taste for the sport. At the time Askham was doing amateur boxing, but he fell in love with the multiple disciplines of Mixed Martial Arts. “I was doing both MMA and amateur boxing when my boxing coach said I couldn’t do both,” he says. It didn’t take long for Askham to make a decision, “Next thing I knew I was training MMA full time.”
The 6-3 middleweight started his amateur MMA career with a perfect 6-0 record. Askham trains out of ASW and trains with some of the top talent in the United Kingdom. The British fighter then turned professional in 2010 and saw his success continue after scoring a first round knockout in his first professional fight. From 2010 to 2014, The Yorkshire native would reel off 12 wins in a row to start his MMA career including a four second knockout in March of 2011. In the process of that four year span, Askham would finish nine of his opponents and capture the BAMMA Middleweight Championship and Ultimate Cage FC Middleweight Championship along the way.
After knocking out Max Nunes to defend his BAMMA Middleweight Title and increasing his perfect record to 12-0, the UFC signed the British fighter to a UFC contact. Four months after signing with the UFC, Askham made his UFC debut and took on Magnus Cadenblad at UFC fight night 53. Askham ended up losing a unanimous decision but was able to drop his opponent with a front kick in the second round.
The ASW product would get his revenge in his next UFC fight, scoring a first round knockout against Antonio dos Santos Jr. The UFC brass then pinned Askham up against another European prospect, Krzysztof Jotko. The fight was back and forth and highly contested. Askham would end up on the losing side of a split decision, leaving a bad taste the former BAMMA champion’s mouth.
With a 1-2 record in the UFC, Askham was set to fight Chris Dempsey at UFC Fight Night 84 in the O2 Arena in London, England. Askham knew he had to put on a show for the UFC and his home crowd and he delivered one of the most beautiful knockouts of 2016. (If you have not seen the knockout which ended up earning Askham the performance of the night bonus I highly recommend watching this clip on YouTube.)
Askham is very confident that if he can connect one of his strikes to his opponent’s face or body, his opponent is going to know exactly what the Octagon canvas feels like. “I know I can put people away in this division,” Askham said. “I have dropped every opponent except one in the UFC, and I am going to keep after those bonuses and always come out with bad intentions every time.”
Askham is fighting this Saturday at UFC Fight Night 93 in Hamburg, Germany. He will be taking on Jack Hermansson, a top European prospect and former Cage Warriors champion. Although this will be Hermansson UFC debut, Askham is already familiar with his opponent. “I know a little bit about him,” he says. “He actually fought someone I was scheduled to fight in BAMMA. So yes, I have watched him fight.”
The fight film that Askham watched must have not impressed him too much. When asked what he predicted for the outcome Saturday, Askham says without any hesitation, “Same as London.”
The ASW product is looking for his third win in the UFC but he has bigger visions. He wants to be the second fighter from England to hold a UFC belt and he has the perfect guy to look up to.
“Bisping is the first British UFC champion and was someone I started watching in MMA before I even competed,” Askham says, “If he can do it, I can do it, it is all about the work you put in and I want this too much.”
If Askham can pull off another quick win Saturday look for him to try to fight on the UFC 204 card in Manchester, England. Come this weekend, Askham will be looking to make a statement to the entire middleweight division and that is “I want in my division to think, shit, I don’t want to have to ever fight this guy.”
(Nick Grinups has previous written about MMA for Sherdog.com. He wrestled 15 years and ended his career wrestling Division I for Drexel University, where he graduated with a double major in Finance and Marketing. He wrote for the school paper at Drexel as well. He grew up boxing and doing judo to stay in shape for wrestling. He has also done some BJJ while training. He has been an MMA fanatic since 2006 and has been immersed in learning about the sport as it has grown. He is also a stand-up comedian in Philadelphia and involved in the advertising/marketing industry.)