World class kickboxer Gokhan Saki (1-1) made a successful UFC debut in Japan last month. The former K-1 champion displayed a vicious striking game, knocking Henrique da Silva out in the closing seconds of the first round with a stunning left hook. The recent MMA convert is still in the process of adding layers to him game and will receive another opportunity to enhance his reputation when he takes on Khalil Rountree (6-2) at UFC 219 on Dec. 30th.
The 34-year-old Saki hadn’t competed in more than two years before stepping into the ring with da Silva and looked to be beginning to feel the pace of the fight before uncorking the lightning quick strikes which led to the end of the bout. Rountree, who beat Scotland’s Paul Craig in his last UFC outing, will surely look to test Saki’s gas tank in his second UFC appearance.
Easier said than done, however. Saki, one of the world’s most decorated strikers, earned his 60th career knockout across both MMA and kickboxing in his UFC debut. In Rountree, he faces a fighter has chalked up two knockout wins in his last two Octagon appearances.
News of the booking was announced by the UFC on social media this afternoon.
— UFC Europe (@UFCEurope) October 9, 2017
Commenting on the fight on his Twitter account, Saki said: “My first fight… they loved the fight. The second fight… they will love me! Las Vegas are you ready?!”
A main event bout for the card has yet to be announced but the promotion has already booked Dominick Cruz vs. Jimmie Rivera to take place in the c0-main event slot. The card will also host the return of Carlos Condit who takes on fellow welterweight veteran Neil Magny.
UFC 219 takes place on December 30th from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.