Scott Askham is content to finish his career at KSW, and despite having no regrets about six-fight run with the UFC, he does feel as though his time with the promotion was brought to a close too prematurely.
The KSW middleweight champion has blazed a trail through his promotional division, beating legendary Pole Michal Materla on two occasions with brutal stoppage finishes. This weekend he looks to bag the biggest victory of his career when he takes on legendary middleweight Mamed Khalidov in the main event of KSW 52 in Gliwice, Poland and insists that he is very different fighter from the man that international audiences may remember from his last trip to the Octagon in 2017.
“I was cut too early from the UFC,” Askham told MMA Fighting’s Eurobash podcast.
“Ultimately, I know I had to win them fights, and I didn’t win them in the UFC. I’m not bitter about being cut, it’s my own fault for not winning. When I did get cut, I lost a split decision to Bradley Scott and that was my first fight at ATT. In that fight, it was the most significant strikes I’d landed in all of my UFC fights, so the changes were beginning to be seen. [UFC] knew I was on antibiotics because I fought with staph. That was the only fight I’ve ever wore vale tudo shorts – I wore vale tudo shorts to cover the staph. It is what it is - I got cut. I’ve had great opportunities since leaving the UFC and the momentum has just kept going, getting bigger and bigger and the ball is still rolling. Make no doubt about it, on Saturday night it will continue to roll on.”
As Askham continues to shine with KSW, more and more people ponder how the new version of the Brit would handle UFC opposition, but Askham is adamant that he could retire from the sport as a KSW fighter.
“I’m happy with KSW, and I’d like to finish my career here, but I wouldn’t ever close any other doors either. This is prizefighting, I want to make as much money as I can before I retire so I’m always open to offers. I’ve said this to KSW, but I’m more than happy to end my career here and I imagine that’s what I’ll do.”
Askham insisted that he wouldn’t close the door on returning to the UFC, but underlined how happy he is currently with the Polish promotion.
“I haven’t closed the book on it. Like I’ve said, I’ll happily finish my career at KSW...there’s a part of myself that will always want to prove [how good I am in relation to the UFC], but it would have to be the right time for me. Like I’ve said, for now I’m focused on KSW and what they’re doing, but who knows what happens in the future?”
“The UFC didn’t go my way,” he added. “I’ve got a lot of opportunities because I have been a UFC fighter. I’ve got no regrets with what happened there and them cutting me because I understand myself that I had to win. I feel because I’m an ex-UFC fighter it’s led me down a good path and I’m just rolling with it and enjoying the journey basically. I’m happy with where I’m at, and I’ll gladly end my career here.”
Check out Scott Askham’s interview on this week’s Eurobash. It begins at 22:30.