With all the chaff that the UFC has filled out their ranks with, it's easy to lose track of the real prospects. Of course, that's why we produce impressive and well researched content like Patrick Wyman's prospect reports. It's the no. 2 prospect on said report that we're talking about today, as reports are in that the UFC has signed one of the world's best up and coming middleweights, Scott Askham. Askham himself reported the news via Twitter.
The news is finally out!! It was always a dream to fight in the @ufc ! Now for new goals and dreams!! On a road to the top!!— scott askham (@scottaskham1) June 25, 2014
Who is Scott Askham?
As an undefeated fighter on the UK scene, largely not fighting for Cage Warriors, Askham has been a bit overlooked as a major prospect, at least until recently. Partially this is due to the small camp he fights out of, Ludus Magnus, which has yet to graduate any other big names off the European regional scene. Partially, as well, this is due to his time spent with BAMMA, which for all their great platform and production have generally failed to regularly produce a good product in the MMA landscape. For fighters like Askham, even taking on good competition, it's hard to build a profile in BAMMA. Still Askham's 12-0 is an impressive one, with wins over top prospects Max Nunes, Jack Marshman, Harry McLeman, and vets Jorge Luis Bezerra and Denniston Sutherland. And with 9 stoppages in his 12 wins, he's proven that he can finish as well. All told, at only 25-years old, Askham comes to the UFC as a very proven talent.
What you should expect:
Askham's game is really built on the slow breaking down of opponents, most particularly in the clinch. While he was a dynamic finisher early in his career (against fairly poor opposition) a step up in quality has meant a more careful approach. And that approach is built on clinch grappling and top control and the movement between the two. At range, Askham's striking is all about distance maintenance. He throws snapping front kicks and leg kicks, and keeps his defense sharp, but what he's really looking for is a way to get inside into the clinch where he can press his opponent up against the cage and look for knees and elbows.
But, it's not just inside striking, Askham routinely likes to drop for a double leg from the clinch. His top game isn't the heaviest or most powerful I've seen (although it's not bad, but he gets sucked into guard easily), but mostly Askham appears to look to get takedowns as a way of keeping his opponent off balance and working, and tiring. He'll work in top control if given the time and opportunity, but if his opponent is good at scrambling, he'll let them up, rinse, and repeat. His fight against Max Nunes was essentially a lesson in slowly breaking Nunes down with his clinch and control until Nunes couldn't maintain his defense inside and Askham could unload on him.
To get us better acquainted, here's Askham's last fight with Nunes: