One of the biggest fights in UK MMA history will take place on September 23 when middleweights Scott Askham and Luke Barnatt go toe-to-toe in the main event of ACB 70.
Both Brits have experienced the joy of winning on home soil under the UFC banner, but both agree that this fight coming up in Sheffield means more to them than any other they’ve been in before.
Askham will be fighting for the first time since being cut by the UFC earlier this year, but speaking exclusively to MMAUNO.com, the Yorkshireman said he’s more motivated than ever before.
“I feel more up for this than anything before,” Askham said. “Me and Luke have had a bit of a rivalry and back and forth recently.
“It’s just a fight that I can’t lose”
“I’m hungrier than ever and since we’ve been back and forth with each other. Obviously we both want the win and I just want to prove to everyone where I stand. Of course, I thought it was a big deal when I was cut with the UFC, but you soon realize there are shows like ACB. I’m getting good money, taking good fights and I’m looking to make a big impression on the organization by beating Luke.”
— ACB Fighting League (@ACB_League) September 12, 2017
Askham will be fighting just 20-minutes from his home and expecting it to be a raucous atmosphere on fight night. He says the ‘Askham Army’ are going to be in the Sheffield Arena in full force and that Barnatt better be prepared for a hostile atmosphere.
“I’ve sold a bucket load of tickets,” Askham said. “Everyone knows that I’ve got a good fanbase, but trust me it’s a crazy amount of tickets. It’s going to be nuts in there and it’s only going to fuel me to the win. I’ve fought in Yorkshire many a time and when that crowd gets behind me like they do there’s nothing like it.
“Walking out in front of them and fighting is going to be awesome and I know they’re going to go nuts. They got right behind me when Luke and I squared off at the last ACB show in Sheffield and this I’m bringing even more people there. Luke doesn’t know what he’s in for, he’s had a taster, but on fight night the atmosphere is going to be different level.”
The fight with Barnatt is in Askham’s immediate future, but little has been said about the Yorkshireman’s longer time prospects. Again, he wouldn’t reveal too much about his plans and said that for time being his mind is only on Barnatt and ACB 70.
“I’ve not talked about what’s next for me because I’m totally focused on Luke,” Askham said. “I need to get this win more than ever because I’m sick of losing these close decisions. I’m going deal with him and then sit down with my management (Heavy Duty Fighting) and go from there.”