England’s Scott Askham can see “the gold” at the end of the tunnel. Askham is a member of the four-man KSW middleweight tournament to crown a new champion after legend Mamed Khalidov vacated the title in July 2018. His first-round opponent will be Marcin Wojcik. Wojcik’s only loss in the last five years has been to light heavyweight champion Thomasz Narkun.
Four-Man Middleweight Tournament
KSW will crown a new middleweight champion for the first time since Khalidov won the title at KSW 33 in November 2015. Semifinal action for Askham begins on October 06, 2018 when he takes on Wojcik. The other semi-final consisting of Damian Janikowski and Michal Materla will also take place the same night. By the end of the night, Askham’s fate will be determined in his quest for KSW gold. “Can’t wait for it to unfold!” Askham told MMASucka. “Will be the biggest achievement of my career so far.”
Three of the four tournament participants are Polish, while Askham is the lone Englishman. With KSW 45 being held in London, England some would consider this a “home-field advantage” for Askham while others would consider it more pressure to please your native country. “Not sure about the home advantage,” Askham stated to MMASucka. “I don’t look too much into that. To be honest I fuel off of the crowd against me. I can’t wait to win the belt in Poland! When my career is done and I look back at that I think it will be my favorite story.”
The Other Side of the Bracket
“I think both [Materla and Janikowski] have tools to win. Janikowski could win early but if not I think Materla will become the more likely winner,” stated Askham. Materla, the 34-year-old veteran, has been fighting in the organization since KSW 6. He is also the last man to hold the middleweight gold prior to Khlidov’s run. Materla also has the most title defenses in KSW history with four. Janikowski is the young up and coming Olympic wrestler who has actually been impressing with his punching power. He is 3-0 in his young professional career with all three bouts ending by knockout.
Next Up In Line
After a first round knockout of fellow tournament fighter Materla at KSW 42 in March 2018, it was all but certain we would see the matchup of a lifetime between Khalidov and Askham. “I am excited to get a chance at the belt but I feel the tournament is the long way around for me,” Askham told MMASucka. “I was next in line for the title. Shame Mamed has other ideas. But either way can’t wait.”
Askham feels, as do many others, this tournament will truly determine who is top of the middleweight division. When asked if winning the title would still have some sort of void not defeating Khalidov for it Askham replied, “Na, I can’t help Khalidov vacating and chasing other things. This tournament proves who the new number one is. If Khalidov wants to come back he will but I don’t think he will go 185 again.”
There is no word yet on when the finals of the middleweight tournament will take place. Hopefully, it will be announced sometime during the KSW 45 broadcast which will take place Saturday, October 06, 2018 in London, England. Catch the event live on ksw.tv. Also follow us here on MMA Sucka for previews, up to date results, and reviews for all of your KSW and MMA needs.
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