Though he hasn’t fought since November of last year, bantamweight Askar Askar feels that he’s had a productive 2019 so far.
Over the course of the past seven months, Askar has worked on developing his game, and as a result his game is coming into its own as he is physically.
“I was scheduled to fight for Bellator (in May), but that fight didn’t happen,” Askar told MMAWeekly.com. “It was right at the beginning of Ramadan, and Ramadan threw me off a little bit more than expected.
“Other than that, I train year-round, so it’s been a few months of hardcore training, getting better every day. I’m getting older, so I’m starting to feel like I’m getting my man muscles at 24 years old. I’m feeling a little bit stronger. I’m looking forward to this (upcoming) fight just because of all this time that I got to work on my craft.”
Askar feels like the work he’s put in the gym shows him enough of his development to know where he’s at with his game in 2019 without having had a fight yet.
“I don’t need the fight to show my improvement,” said Askar. “I can just be shadow boxing in front of the mirror and I can notice how explosive I’m becoming, how quick I’m on my feet I’m becoming, how much lighter I’m feeling, and how much stronger I’m feeling.
“If you’re training right and you’re taking care of your nutrition and food, and you’re moving forward with your mental state, I feel like you can see the progression day by day.”
Friday in Madison, Wisc., Askar (9-0) will face fellow unblemished fighter Jake Childers (6-0) in a bantamweight main card bout at LFA 70.
“It’s 6-0 versus 9-0, it’s pretty nice,” Askar said of facing Childers. “He’s tough. He’s a hard worker. I feel like I’m in that category too; I work hard.
“It’s a striker versus grappler match-up. He’s going to try to take me to the ground, he’s going to try to get on my legs, get on my hips, put me up against the cage and try to grind me out, and make as many scrambles as possible. As much I feel like I can finish him on the feet, I invite him to grapple, I invite him to come forward, because even though I’m not a wrestler, I feel like I have a strong wrestling base.”
While a win could set up a big second half of 2019 for Askar, his sole focus is this Friday and nothing beyond that.
“My life ends at the beginning of that fight – nothing else after that matters – nothing else exists,” said Askar. “I’m living until the day after the fight, then will take a few days off and collect myself, and then move forward to the next training camp or fight.
“Until this fight happens, I’m not worried about anything else. I’m worried about getting my weight down, staying physically healthy, and getting to fight night.”