Last month, on the main card of the UFC’s exciting return to Japan, kickboxing legend Gokhan Saki (83-12 KB, 1-1 MMA) made his anticipated UFC debut. While his performance was not without flaws, Saki ultimately produced just the kind of thunderous knockout he’s known for, putting his foe Luis Henrique down with a blistering left hook in the first frame.
With this exciting debut win in the books, Saki got pretty much the entire MMA community excited about his future in the sport. And now, his next step has been booked. The kickboxing transplant will take on rising light heavyweight contender Khalil Rountree (6-2) at UFC 219, which is scheduled for December 30 in Las Vegas.
Rountree will enter this fight having recently rebounded from back-to-back losses with a pair of first-round knockouts over Daniel Jolly and Paul Craig. Given that he shares Saki’s propensity for thudding knockouts, the likelihood of this one ending in a blink seems extremely high.
In addition to this Saki vs. Rountree bout, UFC 219 will feature a bantamweight scrap between Dominick Cruz and Jimmie Rivera, a strawweight bout between Cynthia Calvillo and Carla Esparza, and a flyweight showdown between Matheus Nicolau and Louis Smolka.
Who do you have in this newly announced Gokhan Saki vs. Khalil Rountree bout? How surprised will you be if this one makes it to the judges scorecards? Join the conversation in the comments section!
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 10/9/2017.