Hemsworth mixed martial arts fighter Scott Askham became the first Yorkshireman to win in the Ultimate Fighting Championship when he impressively finished off opponent Antonio dos Santos Jr on Saturday.
Middleweight Askham was bouncing back from his first career defeat in his previous contest against Sweden’s Magnus Cedenblad and took the chance to impress in only his second UFC fight after switching from the British Association of Mixed Martial Arts.
It was no easy night for the 26-year-old, but he showed good defensive qualities as well as great finishing ability in a contest taking place at UFC Fight Night 69 at O2 World Berlin in Germany.
From the start Brazilian dos Santos charged at Askham, but although the Hemsworth man got caught a couple of times he had the answers to his opponent’s aggression.
After dropping him with an uppercut, he forced a stoppage after two minutes, 52 seconds of the first round.
For much of the round Askham found himself moving backwards, or being up against the fence as dos Santos tried to get in close to make up for his height and reach disadvantage and threw some heavy punches.
But on one of his charges he was caught by a superb uppercut counter punch and was sent face first onto the mat.
The Brazilian managed to get up, but the end was near as a head kick to the chin put him down again and a further flurry of punches then left referee Leon Roberts with no option but to stop the contest to give the Hemsworth man the win he craved.
Askham was obviously delighted with the win.
He said: “I am feeling absolutely amazing.
“I have had an awesome camp and I feel great.
“It went how I expected and I got to finish him. We exposed holes in his game.
“He came out fast, but I was prepared.
“The support from my family in the crowd always helps me and it’s only going to get bigger. I pick up fans wherever I go, and I fight exactly in the style that UFC fans want to see.”
Askham explained the strategy that helped him win.
He added: “That uppercut was there.
“I know he puts his head down and he swings everything into his shots.
“When you’re in against a striker like me it’s a dangerous game because I’m going to put you away just like I did.”