Askar Askar Reveals Emotional Moment When He Received Fight Shorts for UFC Vegas 18

Stepping up on short notice at UFC Vegas 18 is LFA vet Askar Askar. Historically a bantamweight, Askar meets Cody Stamann in a 145lb bout necessitated by the short time frame.

The call-up wasn’t exactly unexpected for the 11-1 fighter known as “Ak-47.”

“No, I was expecting that. I mean, my record shows that I was working up to this point. I’m 11 and one now and I knew it was right around the corner,” Askar told Cageside Press during a recent media day to promote UFC Vegas 18. “There was a few times where there were opportunities for me to take [a fight in the UFC] early on, but this was the one where just everything connected perfectly.”

Askar also revealed one particular moment during this fight week that really resonated with him. “I was looking at my fight shorts yesterday. I got them, with my name on them. And I almost teared up looking at it because of how hard I’ve been working for the last two years just to be able to see that name on those shorts. And see myself in those UFC gloves in that cage, throwing down.”

While the UFC has been on the horizon for a while, the opponent in question come Saturday was not. Stamann is a pretty sizeable name for any incoming fighter to go up against. Something Askar is in full agreement with.

“Hell yeah, it is [a sizeable name]. I mean, he’s a tough guy. He’s number nine in the world at bantamweight. He’s fought tough dudes, he’s fought the title challenger Aljamain Sterling. He’s fought Jimmie Rivera. Two tough dudes,” Askar stated. “He has a few other wins in the UFC. He’s a tough wrestler, tough grinder. He’s from the Midwest also, so I don’t expect nothing but a tough battle with him.”

That tough battle coming at 145lbs instead of 135lbs also has Askar feeling a little better. “Listen, if you’re not cutting weight, you’re definitely gonna feel stronger. I’m happy that my debut is at 45, especially with a week’s notice,” he explained. “It’s only fair. And I know he was asking for 45 too, I know he did. I know that there’s a few fights where they were talking about how he fought at 45 because it took him a mission to cut to 35. So it’s a blessing for me and him. We’re both gonna be fully hydrated. It’s gonna be the best Cody, the best Askar, full hydration, 145 pounds. It’ll be a battle.”

Askar Askar makes his UFC debut against Cody Stamann at UFC Vegas 18 this Saturday, February 6 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The event airs live on ESPN+ (TSN in Canada).