Hemsworth mixed martial arts fighter Scott Askham is preparing differently for his upcoming Ultimate Fighting Championship bout with Kryzsztof Jotko.
The fight on Saturday, October 24 is only Askham’s second of the year, but he is coming at it from a completely new angle.
“I have been preparing totally differently for the fight,” he said.
“I’ve moved camps and been travelling to Manchester for my training.
“I’ve been doing more technical and skill based sessions and learning not just to beat opponents, but to finish them off.
“I was complacent on fight week last time and I won’t make that mistake again and I’ve been more focussed.
“I’ve changed my mentality and I want to finish him, rather than just beat him.”
In the local community Askham views himself as something of a role model to aspiring fighters and wants to get as many people involved as possible.
“I do feel like I am a bit of a leading light. I’m the first Yorkshireman to win a fight in UFC and I think a lot of people look up to me because of that.”
A defeat to Magnus Cedenblad has changed Askham’s perceptions of himself and he is insistent that it puts him in a much better place going forward.
“Someone once said to me ‘You learn more from your losses’ and I never knew what that meant because I was unbeaten at the time.
“Having been defeated, I’ve learnt a lot more about how I fight. I believe in destiny and feel that defeat was meant to be and that it’s part of my journey.
“I don’t see it negatively, I see it as a good thing and it has put me in a better place.”
Jotko himself has only lost once in his UFC career, again to Cedenblad, and the 27-year-old knows he has to be wary of his threats.
“He’s a good opponent, anyone I face in UFC is going to be tough but I feel prepared.
“We’ve both suffered one defeat and it was to the same fighter so it’s going to be close.
“Each win gets me a step closer to where I want to be, which is fighting in Las Vegas, that’s every fighter’s dream.
“UFC comes to London in 2016 for the first time ever and I would love to be there, there’s no better feeling than representing your country at your sport.”
Askham has just opened a new gym in Hemsworth, based above the Alpha pub on Southmoor Road.
ASW Hemsworth is offering sessions for anyone between the ages of five and 45 with the focus mostly on boxing, wrestling and thai boxing.
Scott added; “I have done some teaching before and I enjoy doing it.
“It’s something for me to have when my career comes to an end.
“With the young kids coming to the sessions, it’s more about enjoyment and keeping them coming back.
“There has been no better feeling for me than seeing the students blossom. The sport is still young and there is no telling where it could go.”
For more details of what is on offer, including opening times and which classes are available at Scott’s new gym, see the ASW Hemsworth Facebook page.