Featured Bet Breakdown – Scott Askham
This fight has the potential to be fight of the night for sure! Scott Askham is making his KSW promotional debut at #KSW42 this weekend facing off against the popular Polish monster in Michal Materla.
Materla has a professional MMA record of 25-5 and has been fighting in KSW for 12 years. He is a brute in the Middleweight division who has a very aggressive fighting style with great power and a very solid ground/submission game too. Noticeable wins on Materla’s record would likely be Paulo Thiago, Rousimar Palhares and Kendall Grove. Of Materla’s 25 wins he has 7 by KO, 12 by submission and 6 by decision so the Polish veteran really is quite well-rounded.
Askham is coming into this fight fresh of an emphatic performance against long-time rival Luke Barnatt where he really did put a clinic on him. Training out of American Top Team, you can really see the progression in Askham’s game who looked extremely crisp and sharp in his last outing. Askham is a tall, rangy fighter who fights very long and has good distance management to go with his style too. Askham is a fighter I really do know a lot about and one side of his MMA game that most people won’t have seen too much of is his BJJ. This is a very underrated aspect of Askham’s game who really does have legit grappling. Another fact that is very relevant here and one that Askham can boast about is that he has never been finished! He has an iron chin and as aforementioned, a great ground game too so it really will take something special to put him away. In regards to his cardio, he has slowed down a little late in fights but that’s normally due to his pace and high output. However, as many will know, I am now working side-by-side with Heavy Duty Fight Management who offer an exclusive weight-cutting programme designed by some of the best sports scientists in the business which is only available to athletes under this management. I know for a fact that this absolutely works and that Askham is in the best shape of his career.
So, with a brief intro regarding both fighters now we look at the fight and how I have broken it down from the tape study I have researched and how I see the fight going. I think from Materla’s game we very rarely see takedowns from him which is a surprise as most of his wins have come by the way of submission and he does have good grappling. However, the times I have seen him pursue a takedown they are very powerful so Askham needs to be careful here. I think Materla will be the aggressor in this fight and be the one pressuring the majority of it. Although he has power, he does tend to swing for the fight-ending punch, every punch and I think this will play nicely into Askham’s game because I don’t see him getting caught with one of these. If he does get caught I’d also trust his chin too. As for Askham I think he will be happy to keep the fight on the feet where he is the better technical striker. I think Askham’s long style of fighting will allow him to keep distance, circle out of the forward pressure of Materla and be landing short combinations mixing in with low-kicks too to slow Materla down. If Askham manages to keep the fight on the feet for 3 rounds I’m extremely confident he will take the begrudging decision in the back yard of Materla. I’m not worried about Askham getting caught as I don’t see this happening, but I do worry about Materla recognising that he is losing the fight and therefore deciding to start closing the distance and shooting takedowns. He will be the stronger fighter in the clinch to try and secure these takedowns. If I am right in this analysis I do think it will be in the latter parts of the fight though where Askham may be up on the judges scorecards anyway. I fully trust Askham’s BJJ and grappling to enable him to not get caught in a Materla submission.
So having broken the fight down, I pick Scott Askham to win this fight by a decision on the judges scorecards so now I look to the betting line. Askham is currently a +200 (2/1) underdog in this fight at Betway only which is a massively off betting line. Other UK books and also the American books have these odds at around +150 (6/4) so anybody tailing this bet will have to act quickly. I have dropped a small 1-unit bet on Askham to win outright! The reason I haven’t gone heavier is because this fits perfectly into my betting strategy for the weekend as we have UFC 222 too. Also, at +200 (2/1), there is no need for me to get greedy and demolish my bank roll here as a 2-unit return is very nice!