A rematch was exactly what Teddy Ash was looking for, and exactly what he received.
Edmonton’s Ash (12-4) will defend his Unified MMA middleweight title in a second-straight matchup with UFC-vet Dominique Steele (18-12) in the co-main event of Unified MMA 36 Friday night in Enoch, Alta.
Prior to their first meeting at Unified MMA 35 in December, Ash, 29, was riding a six-fight winning streak before falling to Steele via first round TKO.
Ash said he feels a win over Steele in the rematch will put him right back where he was before the loss.
“I could scratch the loss off my record and replace it with a win, and I think it would pretty much put me right back where I was,” said Ash in an interview.
“I’m still getting better every fight. The last fight with Dom made me a better fighter. I’m going to be coming into the cage on Friday better than I was last fight.”
Although Ash lost in the first meeting, he did retain his middleweight title due to Steele missing weight.
This time around, Ash said he’s hoping they both make weight so the winner of the fight can definitively call themselves the Unified MMA middleweight champion.
“It was a bit of a grey area there where he didn’t make weight, but I lost the fight,” said Ash.
“I’m really hoping we both make weight and we can have a true championship title fight. There will be no questions about it; winner takes the belt and is the Unified middleweight champion.”
Ready For War
Throughout his training camp, Ash had no shortage of hard rounds to put himself through with multiple teammates also competing on the card.
Pat Pytlik, Menad Abella, Graham Park, KB Bhullar, and Matt Klute all train with Ash at Shaved Bears and Frank Lee’s, and are all competing on the same card.
“We’re all buddies, we want to be competitive with each other, and we’re always pushing each other to that next level,” said Ash.
“You can really see it in the gym; the energy’s high and we’re all making each other so much better.”
Prior to his first matchup with Steele, Ash was involved in two unforgettable wars with Kobe Ortiz at Unified MMA 33 and Seth Baczynski at Unified MMA 34.
And until the stoppage late in the first round, Ash’s fight with Steele appeared to be headed towards another epic battle, which is what Ash is envisioning for the rematch, only with a different result.
“I’m always going for the kill. I’m looking for a finish. That’s what I want and that’s what everyone wants to see,” said Ash.
“But I’m there for 25 minutes and a 25-minute war if need be.”
“I’d like to thank all my coaches and teammates: Jeff Montemurro, Keijiro Noda, Tanner Boser, Spencer Jebb, Graham Park, KB Bhullar, Mike Newton, Menad Abella, Scott Campbell, Jeff Porter, Alyssa Krahn, Megan, Wes Matthew, Justin Sander, Ian Rousseau, Mike Scarcello, Pat Pytlik, and Matt Klute. I’d also like to thank my sponsors: PPS – Paul Peddle, Birch Mountain Enterprises, BBN – Brian O’Keefe, Clearwater River Outfitting Ltd., Death Defied, Thickwood Barber Shop, The Clinch Fight Shop, Sketch Ink, Fort McMurray Roofing, NC Transport & Equipment, Printing Unlimited, Talitha’s Hope 4 a Cure, CIMC, Oil City Edibles, PK’s Corner, and Timberlea Car Wash.”