Following a two-year hiatus, a much matured Ryan Scope is set for a spectacular return at ACB 47 on October 1.
Despite a significant time away, Scope jumps back into the thick of it at The SSE Hyrdro, Glasgow to face tough Russian prospect Yusup Umarov.
Once one of the hottest young athletes on the UK scene, Scope’s time away from the sport has prompted a good degree of growing up for the 24-year-old.
Aside spending time recovering from serious illness, Scope is now a father to a beautiful young daughter and the “Big Baby” believes his life experiences have helped him mature into a much improved fighter.
“I’ve just had a little daughter so I was with the baby’s mum for most of that time,” Scope explained about his absence. “I [had] stomach ulcers as well, so ongoing injuries, but I’ve really got myself back on track. You’re going to see a new and improved version.
“I’ve take a more serious approach to training now that I’ve had a kid. I’ve been training really hard, moved down to Lightweight as well, so I’ve dedicated myself to dieting for once.”
The last time Scope competed was in April, 2014, he was just 22-years-old. Despite his age, the North East fighter defeated a superior-experienced Ali Arish who was riding a nine-fight win streak.
An underdog victory for Scope boosted his stock tremendously and showcased exactly why he was one of the country’s most promising stars.
However, he was unable to capitalise on the momentum after stomach ulcers forced him from a career making fight against Jack Marshman. This one was one of the major reasons the rising Welterweight talent was side-lined for two years.
“I won that fight with Ali Arish, I think I went to number four in the Welterweight rankings, but nothing really came of it,” Scope explained. “I was booked to fight Jack Marshman at Middleweight and that’s when I got stomach ulcers. I couldn’t even eat.”
For such a long time Scope relied on his natural ability, something he had in abundance. Many fighters have gone on record and championed his talent, including Colin Fletcher, Alex Enlund and even Paul Daley. With the strong belief instilled in him, ahead of his return Scope explained his renewed approach to MMA.
“I’ve got more to fight for now, I used to train and stuff but I was lazy sometimes and I would take days off.
“I turned pro when I was young so I just had a bit of fun time really and I didn’t take it that seriously, but like I said, now there’s a lot more to be fighting for.
“I’ve never dieted like this before, I just wouldn’t do it. I always should have been a Lightweight, I just never used to cut anything when I used to fight.
“I was 9-0 and I’ve never trained as hard as I have for this fight, I’ve never put myself away as much as I have for this fight. So I’m 100 per cent confident that I’m going to win. I couldn’t get up for an easy fight, all these people who are not worthy, you don’t get anywhere fighting people like that.”
It was a conversation on social media which prompted his return on Absolute Championship Berkut, but the Team Fish Tank fighter admitted it wasn’t easy finding an opponent.
“It literally was on Twitter. I think I was struggling to get matched and I saw someone post on Twitter about a Russian show, so I messaged them and they got a guy to message me and he was really excited to see me back. They sorted me a match out straight away. I was matched up to fight a different Russian guy first but he pulled out.”
It’s being chalked as one of the most pivotal returns in UK MMA this year and a revitalised Scope is looking to snatch a finish to complete the perfect comeback story.
“I’m coming for the finish, I have no doubts, I’m not scared of getting tired anymore, my cardio is there, everything is there. I’ve always had natural talent but that’s because I’ve been training since I was a kid. That’s obviously helped me and now I’ll never let the occasion get the better of me.
“If all goes well with this fight and I don’t get any injuries or anything, I’m hoping to fight again once by the end of the year, so I just want to keep going.”