Hemsworth fighter Askham set for UFC return

Scott Askham
Scott Askham

Hemsworth mixed martial arts fighter Scott Askham is set to get back in the ring next month when he is looking for his first win since switching to the Ultimate Fighting Championship ranks.

Middleweight Askham lost his unbeaten record last time out when losing a close battle with Magnus Cedenblad in Sweden in his first UFC contest after switching from the British Association of Mixed Martial Arts.

Since that match up against a fighter in his home town last October the 26-year-old Hemsworth man has had minor elbow surgery and got married, but now he is on track for a return to fighting as he looks to make his mark in the tough world of UFC.

Askham, who formerly trained at Neil Wilson’s Alpha Boxing Club, in Hemsworth, will meet Brazilian Antonio dos Santos Jr on Saturday, June 20 as part of the UFC Fight Night 69 taking place at O2 World Berlin in Germany.

He won his first 12 pro bouts – nine via stoppage – and earned a UFC contract last year, but in his promotional debut he suffered a points decision loss to Cedenblad at UFC Fight Night 53.

Next opponent dos Santos Jr, also 26, finds himself in the same situation. After posting a 6-1 record (with four knockouts) on Brazil’s regional scene, where he won Jungle Fight’s light-heavyweight title, he signed with the UFC and suffered a TKO loss to Daniel Sarafian at UFC Fight Night 58.

Askham, currently heavily in training for his return, will be looking to improve on his disappointing first outing in UFC.

He was up against an opponent in his home town, but lost on a unanimous decision with a 29-28 score on all three judges’ cards.

Cedenblad did survive a crushing second-round front kick to the face, but rallied in the final round to earn the points win.

Askham landed a few nice shots, including a head kick and a left that seemed to stagger his opponent in the opening round. However, Cedenblad got in underhooks and forced the fight to the mat as much as he could and that was where he had the edge according to the judges.

Askham will have to learn a few lessons from the fight, although he could be encouraged that he had the power to trouble an opponent more experienced at UFC level. His front kick to the face dazed Cedenblad, who lost his mouthpiece, in the second round, but it came just too late for the Hemsworth fighter to be able to force a stoppage and he was then frustrated in the final round until a late rally came too late to swing the result in the judges’ eyes.