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Luke Barnatt. Copyright MMA Plus/Jorden Curran

European promotion Absolute Championship Berkut (ACB) has confirmed that English rivals, Luke Barnatt and Scott Askham will face off in the main event of their September 23 show at the Sheffield Arena

Barnatt vs. Askham will mark the promotion’s second show in Sheffield, following on from ACB 65 which set to take place on July 22 at Sheffield Arena‚Äôs Steel Hall. The Steel Hall is designed to house around 4,500, whereas the main arena can hold up to 13,600. 

ACB’s decision to run with a bigger venue likely stems from the fact Sheffield is so close to Askham’s hometown of Hemsworth, as they hope to capitalise on the South Yorkshire fan base. 

Askham, 29, broke the news on Saturday night, with ACB confirming the bout on Sunday morning. 

Barnatt, 29, has fought at light-heavyweight in two of his last three bouts, something which caused doubt over a return to middleweight to face Askham, in a fight which is being dubbed, ‘The Battle of Britain’. “Bigslow” confirmed he will return to the 205-pound division in future, but right now, he will tend to ‘business down at middleweight’ as he vows to knockout Askham in Sheffield. 

Barnatt said: “The fights not the hard part, the weight cut is the toughest part of me fighting at middleweight but I will make that weight one more time, knock him out and then get back to chasing down that light-heavyweight belt.” 

In response to Barnatt’s claim, Askham replied: “He doesn’t know what he’s talking about! He’s the one who’s been knocked out twice and I’ve never been finished. This fight has been a long time coming and I’m coming to take his head clean off!”

It was also confirmed that both Askham and Barnatt will come face-to-face inside the cage next Saturday at ACB 65, a moment which is sure to be fuelled with tension. 

Tickets for the event will go on sale Monday July 12 at 12pm at www.sheffieldarena.co.uk.