There will be a lot on the line for Teddy Ash (10-3) when he meets Kobe Ortiz (16-6) at Unified MMA 33 this Friday.
He’ll be fighting for the promotion’s vacant light heavyweight title and extend his winning streak to five. That’s not all; Ash said he’s eyeing a spot on UFC on FOX 30 in Calgary on July 28.
“It’s what I’m gunning for,” Ash told MMASucka. “I want to fight in the big show. I want to take on a tough guy and win in exciting fashion. I’d love to fight in the UFC and f***ing put on a show. Hopefully that’s the outcome.”
Calgary is only three hours from Ash’s adopted hometown of Edmonton, the site of his next fight. It will grant Teddy “Bear” an opportunity to capture the Unified MMA title in friendly territory.
“I’ve made Edmonton my home,” Ash said. “It’s a pretty cool feeling.”
He was born and raised in Fort McMurray, which is four-and-a-half hours north of Edmonton. Ash was able to win the Prestige FC light heavyweight title there in his most recent bout against Cameron Olson via first round knockout.
Now, Ash will try to make it two professional titles in a row.
“It’s pretty awesome,” Ash said. “I’m reaping the benefits of my hard work. I know now I deserve to be here with the competition I’ve been winning against. This is where I belong.”
“…A big learning curve at that point in my career.”
In his last three fights, he’s secured T/KO wins over Olson, Victor Valimaki and Nick Campbell. He hasn’t lost since December 2016, when he dropped a unanimous decision to Brendan Kornberger for the Unified MMA middleweight belt. Ash credits that loss as a pivotal point in his MMA career which has led to four consecutive wins and a world title.
“The fight with Kornberger, I realized a lot about MMA,” Ash said. “I was just jumping on a big learning curve at that point in my career. We went through a five-round war. I knew right then and there I needed to work on my game and become more well-rounded. I’ve been working on a lot of wrestling and ground stuff.”
Now, he gets to showcased what he’s learned this camp against Kobe Ortiz who has won three of his past four. Ash was originally supposed to fight UFC veteran Matt Hamill, but he still likes the new match-up.
“He’s definitely a tough challenge,” Ash said of Ortiz. “He’s a tough guy from a good gym and another athlete in there looking to win a fight.”
Ash said if he doesn’t get the call to the UFC’s Calgary card, he’ll “just keep knocking out tougher and better guys.” He said he’d gladly fight on the Dana White Tuesday Night Contender Series, which returns this summer. He’ll keep his options open, however.
“It’s going to be between me, my team, my coaches and my manager to see what doors open and what my best option is,” Ash said. “I’m going to get through this one and then keep climbing the ladder.”
Ash said he’s gunning for either Knockout of the Night or Fight of the Night honors when he tries to get gold wrapped around his waist at Ortiz’s expense.