After his brilliant first round knockout win in his last contest Hemsworth mixed martial arts star Scott Askham is in confident mood ahead of his next UFC fight this weekend.
Middleweight Askham is up against Sweden’s Jack Hermansson, who is making his UFC debut but boasts an impressive record as a former Cage Warriors champion.
The contest takes place on the big Arlovski V Barnett bill at Hamburg, Germany, on Saturday.
Askham is looking to improve his mixed martial arts record of 14 wins and two close losses and is in the right frame of mind to impress again after taking the performance of the night award last time out.
He told the Express: “I’m going out there to try to impose my game as always and land them heavy shots to put my opponent away.
“I never hide away from my game plan.
“I’m feeling confident – you can’t not be confident after my last performance.
“I’ve learned from previous experience. I’ve won by knockout before and then lost a split decision the fight after. I’ve taken a lot away from that in learning not to be too confident, but getting a knockout just gives you so much confidence, it’s unbelievable.
“You feel like you can take on the world and at the minute I’m in a really good place with my camp and stuff like that.
“I’ve taken things away from losses and wins and worked out what I need to do.
“I really feel it’s my time to start getting that momentum behind me and get on a winning streak.
“It was 100 per cent my best performance in the UFC in my last fight and to do it in front of my home crowd was massive.
“It was by far the biggest win of my career.
“I think I’ve made a mark in the UFC now and it was a good time to stamp my name in it.”
Askham is delighted with the way his preparations are going and happy to be fighting in Germany where he has won before.
He said: “Training’s been going great. It’s been a fantastic camp and I’ve got all the right people around me over at ASW Manchester. I’ve got all the bases covered now.
“I’ve not been working on anything in particular for this fight, I’ve been making improvements on my whole game.
“I’ve only been at ASW a short space of time, less than two years, and the improvement I’ve made in that time is unbelievable so I’ve got to keep getting better, keep moving forward and the big fights will come.
“I’ve fought in Germany before, in Berlin where I had my first UFC win, so the country’s been good to me before. It’s a nice place and I’m comfortable fighting there.
“I will have picked up a few fans over there last time no doubt and I’m hoping I can keep them happy with another good performance.”
Opponent Hermansson carries over a good record from Cage Warriors where he has won 13 and lost two, but Askham said he will find it a big step up in the UFC.
He added: “He’s a former Cage Warriors champion who’s just signed to the UFC and is looking to put a stamp on it. But he’s stepping into the UFC now and it’s not as easy as any other promotion.
“I’ve watched a few of his fights, but I’m more focused on what I’m doing rather than what he’s doing.”
Watch UFC Fight Night: Arlovski vs. Barnett live on UFC Fight Pass from 4:45pm BST on Saturday, or catch the main card from 8pm BST on BT Sport