Teddy Ash Discusses Dana White’s Contender Series Fight

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Teddy Ash has won seven of his last eight fights and now the Canadian prospect gets his shot at the big show this week on Dana White’s Contender Series.

Teddy Ash vs. Duško Todorović takes place on Dana White’s Contender Series this Tuesday, August 27. The standout Canadian prospect will finally get his opportunity to launch himself towards the UFC stage. To do that though he needs to take out an unbeaten and hungry fighter vying for a UFC contract too. This has been a long, tumultuous road for a man who had all of his belongings burn to the ground in the infamous 2015 Fort McMurray blaze to now be in a spot where he could be a contracted UFC fighter.

The Shaved Bears

The camp that Ash has been training with is the Shaved Bears. Since the aforementioned Fort Mac fire, Ash relocated to Edmonton and began training at that gym. The Shaved Bears have been killing it as a collective lately and it lends itself to tangible confidence among all individuals involved.

Recently the team went on a 7-0 clean sweep at Unified MMA 37. Ash successfully defended his Unified MMA light heavyweight title and was galvanized by his teammates performing well in bouts earlier on the card. Ash said, “We kind of gel together. We train so hard together so we kind of carry that energy together. We have the team back there in the room and it’s pretty surreal fighting with your team like that.”

The pro-MMA fighters are making their mark but there’s also a tight kinship with the Shaved Cubs. Recently, some children associated with the gym have gone through heartbreaking medical issues and the Bears are looking to raise money to help out their own.

Ash stated, “Benny is a part of the Little Sweatshop family. The Shaved Bears and Little Sweatshop is a conjoined gym. Jeff Montemurro’s wife Shelley runs the Little Sweatshop. Benny’s family is a part of the Little Sweatshop family, the Shaved Bear family. They had some troubles come about when he got a Wilms tumor and everyone from the gym has pitched in to help raise some funds during a tough time.”

Ash wrapped up the thought in a poignant fashion. Ash said, “All bears start as cubs. So we’re raising a family, man. It’s pretty awesome.” The fight on Tuesday holds Ash’s immediate focus but his attention never wavers from supporting those who are close to him.

Unified MMA Run

Though Ash moved to Edmonton a few years back, he still has strong connections to home. All of the Fort Mac love that Ash gets is never something he takes for granted and the support is always recognized.

Ash said, “I’m pretty lucky to be coming from Fort Mac and to have all that Fort Mac support. That was kind of like why I made that big post the other night, I was just super thankful. I’m lucky. There are a lot of fighters that are in my shoes that don’t have that opportunity and have that support behind them. Some of them got to have jobs in between and they’re trying to do what I’m trying to do. I’m lucky to have such great people behind me. It’s just a strong city and it’s helping me.”

Teddy Ash DWCS Dana White's Contender Series
Credit: Jacob Bos/Sherdog

Ash really began taking things to the next level once he started hitting the Edmonton MMA scene hard. Prior to this DWCS bout, Ash was concurrently holding Unified MMA’s light heavyweight and middleweight champions. Not only that, but Ash also defended both belts during his tenure there. Ash has since vacated both belts but the gold could be coming back to the Shaved Bears camp quite quickly.

Ash said, “Obviously, [Tanner] Boser got his UFC contract and unfortunately didn’t get this UFC debut in Edmonton but he’ll debut October 17.  We’ve got my belt up for grabs when KB [Bhullar] fights Matt Dwyer. Graham Park’s fighting for the 205 strap and big Christian Larsen is fighting for Tanner’s heavyweight title. We’ve got a couple of other guys on the card so the gym is always hyped because we’re always training. A lot of hard work put in and guys are getting big fights.”

Teddy Ash vs. Duško Todorović

With Ash’s big fight looming, he has done his due diligence with observing the tendencies of Todorović and applying that to his personal physical preparations. Ash said, “Yeah, I watched a couple of his fights. I know what I’m up against. I did my research. I’ll usually watch a few fights and then work on things that I know are going to work for me in the fight.”

Teddy Ash was also at a prior Contender Series show. Ash was doing pre-fight promo work for his fight and has already gotten a bit of a feel for The Apex. Ash said, “It was cool to see the venue and go in. Check it out and see what it’s all about. It got me a little extra excited. I’m really excited to fight in there, man. It’s a smaller venue, it’s quiet, small crowd and I really like that. I think it might be a little more intense. The fact that there’s not a big loud crowd going on, there’s no music, there’s no walkout music. So I really like the idea behind it. It’s going to be fucking sweet.”

That appreciation for the pressure cooker kind of environment provides some insights into Teddy Ash’s mind. This also came across when Ash articulated what this opportunity truly means to him as he prepares for August 27. Ash stated, “Regardless of a UFC contract or not, I’m going to continue fighting. This is what I want to do and I love doing it. I’m doing it for other reasons. I would love to be in the UFC a hundred percent. Hopefully, I get there whether it be this fight or the next. I’m just going to keep fighting regardless. The journey is fighting. Where I end up is the mystery.”

Ash summarized his thoughts by saying, “To me, the goal and the focus is to win the fight. If the UFC contract comes with it, that’s just a huge bonus. I’m not fighting to get a UFC contract. I’m fighting to win a fight. It’s one fight, 15 minutes, me and another man in a cage to find out who’s the better martial artist that night.”

Teddy Ash fights on August 27 as part of Dana White’s Contender Series. The fight emanates from The UFC Apex and the card gets rolling at 8:00 p.m. ET.

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