Longtime kickboxing specialist Gokhan Saki recently signed a longterm contract with Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) after parting ways with GLORY Kickboxing (details here).
It’s an interesting signing to say the least, as Saki has only one mixed martial arts (MMA) bout to his credit, a technical knockout loss to James Zikic way back in 2004. But after tearing it up on the kickboxing scene for the last 17 years, winning multiple titles along the way, “The Turkish Tyson” plans to bring his bevy of striking experience to the Octagon.
“I’m going to bring kickboxing to the Octagon. Kickboxing is my thing, my life and I stopped showing it for two years and I can’t wait to show it again,” he said during a recent interview on The MMA Hour.
For Saki, the move over to UFC was a simple one, as he didn’t bother negotiating with any other MMA promotion, as he wanted to test himself agaisnt the best of the best.
“I don’t talk to the other organizations. As I said, when I make my comeback, I’m going to do it on the biggest stage and for me, UFC is the biggest and most popular combat event in the world, so, this is the best way to come back for me.”
Born and raised in Holland, Saki says he’d love to fight at the UFC Fight Night event on Sept. 2, inside Ahoy Rotterdam arena in Rotterdam, Netherlands. And he doesn’t care who it’s against, as he warns the entire 205-pound weight class that they will all get knocked out sooner or later.
“No. I don’t have (preference). How can I say, I will fight everybody, the biggest, the smallest, the heaviest. It’s all the same weight. For me, I really do not care who I fight, I’m only really interested in myself and I don’t care about other fighters. Sooner or later I am going to knock the fuck out of them anyway, so it doesn’t matter to me, you know. I don’t care who I fight first.”
Admittedly, Saki says he didn’t watch a ton of MMA, but says he is a big fan of Conor McGregor and sees a lot of similarities in his and the Irishman’s fighting style.
“My favorite fighter is McGregor. The way he fights, that’s when I started watching UFC,” he added. “I didn’t watch UFC a lot, but when Conor came in the game, I loved this guy. The way he worked, the way he trained, his history, I love it. He sleeps in the gym, it’s great.”
“I just want to give the UFC fans what they want. They want knockouts, they want to be entertained. My fan base is always fanatic. If you see my fights, the arenas are full, people are screaming and at the end, I give them what they want,” said Gokhan. “Conor does the same. With kickboxing, my fighting style, my explosiveness.”
Furthermore, the standup specialist predicted that by this time next year, he will be fighting for the UFC title.
“I know if I want something, I work hard for it, I will get it and I am thinking this time next year I am already fighting for the title. I am ready, man. I promise you, after three, four fights I will be ready, man.”