Teddy Ash ready for middleweight title, hopes UFC comes calling
Teddy “Bear” Ash is the Unified LHW champion, and in late September his eyes are set on another belt. The middleweight belt is currently vacant, and either Ash or Seth Baczynski (a former Ultimate Fighter contestant) will have a belt wrapped around their waist.
“Seth’s a great fighter, veteran of the sport, he’s got some UFC bonuses, will be a big challenge for me. I’m excited for it all.”
The roller coaster ride that it takes to get to the UFC can be tough, but one thing is for sure, becoming a double champ in Unified would sure get their attention. When it comes to how good it would feel to have gold on both shoulders, Ash agreed that it was an exciting thought. “It would be f*cking amazing, man. Shows that I can dominate at both weights, doesn’t matter 185 or 205 I’m coming to win.”
Many fighters have become champions before getting that call from the big time promotions, so in the possibility of gaining a second belt, is it time the UFC made that call? “Potentially, I mean I’d think so but who knows, can’t predict that stuff,” Ash said. The humble response is correct, the UFC does what they want, and who knows what their plan for Ash is, all we can assume is that with a win come September 28, he’d be hard to ignore. “My plan is to work hard, be victorious, get the second strap and see what doors open up.”
Ash is in a considerably interesting situation in that he could compete at several weight classes. Which gives him multiple possibilities for opportunities in his future if he is victorious. “Either weight class, just waiting for that best opportunity. Becoming a double champ will just prove I can dominate at either one. People say, ‘oh I hate this weight’ or whatever, not the case for me. 205, 185, I don’t care, I feel good at either.”
In the end, Ash is ignoring the future, his complete focus is on Baczynski, who is a veteran of 10 plus UFC appearances. When it comes to the weight cut and how Ash’s fight camp is going, and if the weight would be an issue, Ash said it wouldn’t be a problem “The weight cut is different, little harder but I’m just strict on my eating habits in camp and then it isn’t a problem.” Ash is about a month out from the fight and states that he already feels ahead of schedule, weight wise. “It’s been fairly easy man, I feel great, still a while ’till fight night and I feel great about where I’m at right now.”
“This has been the best training camp I’ve ever had, I feel dominant right now, couldn’t be going any better. My improvements are showing daily, in the best shape of my life, things couldn’t be going better.”
Ash is always thankful for his team, and any coach he has ever worked with. “I owe all of my coaches everything from the very beginning to now, they are why I’m here.”
Ash currently trains with one of the top Canadian MMA gyms in Shaved Bears MMA. “[They’re] Some of the best coaches I’ve ever had the pleasure to work with.” He also thanks his striking coach for improving his striking to the highest level, “I’ve always been known as a heavy hitter. I hit even harder now, completely revamped my striking.”
Currently a winner of five straight, most think Baczynski will be the Canadian born’s toughest contest to date. “I like to think every upcoming opponent is my toughest fight. But yeah, man. He’s got the experience, he’s fought some of the best in the world.”
Ash believes he is ready for the experience that Baczynski will bring, in fact, Ash hopes nothing more than for the UFC vet to be at his absolute best come fight night, “I don’t want anything to come easy. I hope he is on top of his game that night. He might be my toughest fight, but I think I’m his toughest fight also.”
Ash is ready to show all of his improvements to the world come September 28, where he will fight at Unified MMA 34, in his home country of Canada. “I want to represent where I’m from as much as I can. Lots of tough guys up here trying to make it.” Canada and MMA have a long history, Georges St-Pierre, a fighter many consider the greatest UFC champion of all time is a fellow Canadian. “I’d love to represent Canada on an international scale, be a part of a big promotion and hold it down for my country. That would be special.”
“I’ve worked my ass off, man. I’ve worked so hard for all of this. I’m a sponge right now, taking everything in, learning every day. For me, this is only the beginning.”
Ash is learning every day from the people around him, training his mind and body for war, a war in which he believes is one he will come out of victorious. “I consider myself a veteran but really I’m only getting my toes wet in this sport. I haven’t reached my potential yet and I just see myself going so far in this sport.” The 28-year-old is excited about the things he could accomplish once reaching his full potential inside the cage, and he hopes to do just that on the 28th. “Seth is just next. I don’t care who I fight. Everyone will see it come fight night, they are going to see it all. Seth is getting everything I’ve got in me.”
As a heavy hitter, many fighters expect the first-round finish when they enter the cage, that just isn’t the case for Ash who describes himself as a well-rounded heavy hitter. “I’ve got that killer instinct but I’m also tough as hell. I don’t care how many rounds we go. I’m calculated I know when to pick my shots, my wrestling has gone through the roof. I’m well-rounded.”
“Patience is a big thing. Fight IQ is more important than power, I can be conservative and know when to strike.”
It’s hard not to think about the future and when it comes to that, Ash could very well find himself in the UFC’s shallow light heavyweight division. But who might he be interested in fighting when he eventually makes the jump up to the big show? “I don’t care to be honest, If I’m lucky enough to get that call I’ll fight anyone at either 205, 185, I’d just give the UFC my all no matter who against.”
“I’ve been through a lot as a person. Traumatic experiences with friends and I was in a dark place for a while. MMA became my escape, my light at the end of the tunnel.” Ash described himself as an ultra competitor, in any sport he has done. He said that he grew up with a passion for football but MMA was his path.
Teddy “Bear” Ash looks to gain his 12th professional win on September 28, and feel the weight of two belts around his waist at Unified MMA 34. With his impressive resume and character, look for this warrior to be receiving some calls from some major promotions in the coming months. But the future is not his worry, only Seth Baczynski and the chance for the 185 championship gold is on his mind.
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