Kickboxing sensation and knockout artist, Gokhan Saki, returned to mixed martial arts (MMA) tonight (Sat, July 7, 2018) against The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 23 alum, Khalil Rountree, to kickoff the pay-per-view (PPV) portions of UFC 226, which took place inside T-Moblie Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
It was seemingly set up to be a squash match — or at least a showcase fight — for Saki, but Rountree spoiled those plans with a quickness in the first round.
Saki got the action started with a solid low kick, as Rountree looked to counter from his Southpaw stance with punches in bunches. Saki landed a solid straight shot down the pike, but it didn’t seem to have any affect on the Turkish fighter. The next exchange, though, was an entirely different story.
Rountree landed a straight left down the middle that put Saki on the canvas. Saki tried to cover up and avoid further damage, but Rountree was right on top of him, landing unanswered hammerfists until the referee in charge of the action had no other choice but to stop the bout.
WHOA! Rountree just stopped a high-level kickboxer in less than one round in impressive fashion, which would mark his third straight knockout finish in as many fights (excluding a “No Contest” with Michał Oleksiejczuk). He claimed in his post-fight interview that he is, indeed, a striker, and it would appear that his most recent performances inside the Octagon would validate that.
For complete UFC 226: “Miocic vs. Cormier” results, including play-by-play updates, click here.