UFC Fight Night 93 (#UFCHamburg) which takes place on 3rd September is the fourth European trip by the promotion in 2016 and sees the promotion venture into Hamburg, Germany for the first time.
The card is stacked with a host of big European names throughout and one of the most highly anticipated fights for European fans is a clash in the Middleweight division between former BAMMA Middleweight Champion Scott Askham (14-2 MMA), taking on former Cage Warriors Middleweight Champion Jack Hermansson (13-2 MMA).
With many similar features you could certainly argue that the pair are very evenly matched, but for Askham (who has four UFC fights under his belt) its not going to be a warm welcoming for Hermansson.
“I have watched some of his fights and he has definitely earned his shot. But I am ready to wake him up and show him he is just a small fish in a big pond. It doesn’t mean he will do bad during his time with the UFC, but I am going in to make a statement and make him feel very unwelcome.”
Both men were key figures of the European Middleweight scene, albeit never destined to meet given they were fighting on rival promotions. But that didn’t stop Askham keeping his eye on his now opponent.
“Yeah he was always a fighter I kept an eye on. In fact in 2013 I was due to fight Ion Pascu but I got injured and then he went on to fight Jack shortly after.”
“He (Jack) fought for the Cage Warriors Title but it wasn’t a great name he fought against for a World Title fight. He has been released by Cage Warriors to stay active, but again in Italy he didn’t fight someone who was that great. It’s very easy to look good against bad opponents.”
In Askham’s last UFC outing he scored a highlight reel head kick KO win over Chris Dempsey, picking up an impressive $50,000 bonus in the process (although Anderson Silva scared the Brit during the main event, as detailed below). Having now had the taste of receiving such a life changing amount of money, the Brit is obviously keen to bag himself another $50k but won’t be changing his approach to fighting in order to pursue it.
“I’ve always been of the opinion that if it comes, it comes. To be honest I am always going in to look to take someones head off. You have seen that in all my UFC performances, I have had four knock downs in four fights and I’m looking to keep that momentum going.”
“On the London card there was six fights after my fight including Anderson Silva so when I got in the back I was watching closely. When Anderson Silva hit Bisping with that knee I thought it was being snatched from me. But luckily it wasn’t.”
#UFCHamburg sees the Brit fight for the UFC for the fifth time in Europe and while Askham is keen to one day fight in the fight capital of the world, is happy with his current European schedule which allows his “Barmy Army” to get to all of his fights.
“The UFC are putting me on the level in that I get to represent them against a fighter who is making his debut for the promotion and I’m happy with that. I have fought in Berlin and it was fantastic. I am really looking forward to fighting in Hamburg.”
Askham is keen to bag his first back to back under the UFC when he goes up against Hermansson at #UFCHamburg and whilst he is certainly not overlooking his opponent, has a few names on his mind that could be getting mentioned in his post fight interview.
“There are a few fights I would like, I have my eye on a few guys. I’m not looking past Jack though and I will wait for the opportunity to come to call them out.”
Scott would like to thank his sponsors “Heavy duty fighter management, Hoyle Mill mot centre, Safe Jawz, The injury clinic, Hudson roofing, G&S building solutions, MCC utilities, The Alpha and Reebok.