Since leaving the UFC in mid-2017, middleweight Scott Askham has been on a tear. Following a split-decision win in his first fight after his release, Askham has picked up three straight finishes, including his most recent fight in May when he defeated Michal Materia for the KSW middleweight title.
Speaking to MMAWeekly.com prior to his first title defense versus Mamed Khalidov at KSW 52 this Saturday in Gilwice, Poland, Askham discussed his title win in May, his thoughts on his first defense attempt, and if there are any set plans for his 2020.
MMAWeekly.com: Firstly, Scott, take us back to your win this past May over Materia at KSW 49 in May. What are your thoughts on that win and how you feel you performed in the fight?
Scott Askham: It was a crazy fight; a lot different than our first (in 2018). I had massive confidence going in and I’m happy I got to show off more of my game.
My two fights before were two quick finishes, so I was happy to show some ground game and I got to show I had heart as I broke my hand during the fight. So I proved to myself I can battle through adversity to get the win and showcase my whole game which has improved greatly.
MMAWeekly.com: The win over Michal adds to a really good winning streak you’ve put together the past couple years. Has there been anything in particular that’s worked well for you over this streak?
Scott Askham: My striking has been my main route to my victories in all of might fights since the UFC. I feel like a different striker now and I’ve completely evolved since moving to American Top Team.
I look back at my old fights during my UFC run and to be honest, I’d kill that guy! Back then I was a counter striker but now I’ve changed to a volume fighter and you’ve seen that in my last four fights.
MMAWeekly.com: Let’s talk about your upcoming fight with Khalidov at KSW 52 on December 7. What are your thoughts on facing him, and what do you feel you need to do in order to get the win?
Scott Askham: I keep seeing “The Legend Returns” or “Scott Askham faces The Legend,” but I just see him as “Mamed Khalidov the fighter.” However, it says something about him that he is widely referred to as a “legend” by fans and media.
I’m going into this fight totally focused to get that win. I’m not going to say I’m going knock him out or anything like that, but I always look for the finish in my fights. I plan on wining every minute of every round as long as the fight lasts.
MMAWeekly.com: In closing, with 2020 right around the corner, do you set goals for the upcoming year, or do you prefer to go fight by fight and see where they lead you?
Scott Askham: The only thing I’m thinking about right now for the future is Christmas and spending time with my family. It has been a long camp in America away from my family and I went straight to Poland from there. So I am looking forward to going back to England and enjoy Christmas with them.
In terms of fighting, Mamed Khalidov is my goal right now. Getting a win over him will set things up for 2020, so he is the only focus now.