After missing all of 2018, welterweight Jarel Askew was looking forward to having an active 2019, but things haven’t turned out the way he had hoped. Now he’s hoping to simply close 2019 by adding a championship to his resume.
While Askew was able to pick up a second round TKO of Mike Plazola for Alaska FC in March, he’s spent the remainder of the year missing out on fights for one reason or another.
“Aside from the fight with Mike in Alaska I had two other fights lined up,” Askew told MMAWeekly.com. “It’s been kind of frustrating. I’ve been trying to book fights and trying to get things lined up
“I feel like I performed pretty well (against Plazola). Everything went smoothly. I was expecting the worst in that fight, but honestly it couldn’t have gone better. It could have been a little more crowd pleasing, but as far as the win goes, I got in and got out with no damage, and I’m good to go.”
When it comes to the 2019 version of himself, Askew definitely sees improvements in his game, but also feels like he has a ways to go before he reaches his full potential.
“I feel a lot better,” said Askew. “I feel my cardio is better than it’s ever been. Not that I’ve ever had cardio issues, but it’s just I feel like I can go for a lot longer now. Everything just feels great.
“What’s crazy is that I’ve had 16 professional fights, I had six amateur fights, and I still feel like I’m in the developmental stages. I feel like there’s so much left to learn, and I feel like I’m just getting started.”
This Friday in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada, Askew (11-5) will look to add a title to his resume when he faces Scott Hudson (10-5-1) in the BTC 8 welterweight championship main event.
“I think he’s pretty good,” Askew said of Hudson. “He’s got good stand-up. He’s a tough guy, but they’re all tough. The last guy (I fought) was tough. My training partners are really tough. At the gym every day is extremely tough and you’ve got to be able to give everything you’ve got every time you’re in here.
“I’m expecting all my opponents to be at their best, and I’m expecting the fight of my life every single fight. He’s a tough guy, this is a tough fight, and this is exactly where I’m here for.”
For Askew setting goals is important, but he also understands the need to be flexible with things and go one opportunity at a time.
“You’ve got to kind of find a happy medium,” said Askew. “Yeah you want to set a roadmap and want to be at certain eras, but at the same time you’ve got to be able to enjoy the journey and go with the flow. If something doesn’t go to plan you have to be able to deal with that. It’s a marathon, not a sprint.
“I hope to get more fights in this upcoming year. I want to fight as much as possible. I was hoping to get more this year. My main focus is giving 110% and do everything that I can do, because that’s the only thing you can control.”