By Dean Parr
“On your website, you asked if anyone had anything interesting to say about any UK fighters. On UCMMA 27th, April 7th, my fighter Scott Saward will be making his pro debut. He is the biggest thing to enter the heavyweight division I have ever seen. 6'7", 130 kg and he’s just turned 19. I predict a first round knockout. Watch this space.”
This was an email received by BritMMA on March 29th. It turned out trainer, Ian Andrews’ prediction was right, as his charge blasted Matthew Manners in just eight seconds at Ultimate Challenge’s most recent event. Speaking after the fight, he continued to heap praise on the now 1-0 big man.
“I wasn’t shocked it finished that quickly,” admitted Ian. “That was our gameplan as I predicted before the fight. I have been around the fight game over 30 years and I've trained Scott since he was six years old. I taught him karate then moved on to sanshou training, incorporating takedowns and throws.
“At 16 Scott went to an MMA club to train and came back to me at 18. We then pushed the training up and started boxing training. I do the pad work with him and my body is smashed. I don't think people can take his shots.
“I see Scott getting a contract with the UFC, and I believe with the right people around him he will win the heavyweight title. He is only 19 and all the ground work is in place.
“His next fight is possibly against Paul Taylor. I think he’s ‘Taylor made’ for Scott, and believe it or not, I predict a first round KO.”
The fighter himself also holds out high hopes, and he is aiming for nothing but the highest levels of the sport. Saward noted,
“I want to be the heavyweight champion of the world; the best MMA fighter out there, earning the moniker of 'baddest man on the planet.' I believe in myself and the team around me, and I think that together we can make it all the way. You'll be seeing me with the UFC gold around my waist in the future.”
Scott was a little more taken back by his quick finish at the Troxy, but admits the gameplan was perfect and this is what led to the result that followed.
“I train to finish my fights and I try to finish them quick, but eight seconds was very fast so I was a little surprised,” stated Saward. “I didn't really know anything about my opponent going into this fight, but as he was a relatively short heavyweight, I was expecting him to come in swinging or drop in for a takedown.
“Working on that basis, we planned to shut him down straight away and not let him get in close enough to cause any damage. The plan worked and it worked very fast. I wasn't totally sure what to expect but I train to finish quick, but I also train to fight for the full three rounds, so I was ready for any length of fight.”
In the near future, Scott is hoping to get his hand raised in the cage every time he steps in there, and show a constant improvement with every day that passes.
“After my first professional win, I'm planning to keep fighting, get better each time and improve my game as I go. I will fight whoever they put in front of me; they are all just people standing in my way of reaching the top. “
The confidence of Saward and the camp around him is evidently sky-high. Time will tell if he can live up to the lofty predictions outlined by him and his trainer.