Gökhan Saki was in defiant mood when speaking to, MMA Fighting’s Peter Carroll about his upcoming MMA bout against, Khalil Rountree at UFC 219 on December 30, 2017. The year end event will take place at the T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas and Saki is currently waiting for his US visa to be approved so that he can continue his training in Miami.
“The Rebel” is coming off a highlight reel KO of, Henrique da Silva in an exhilarating UFC debut that ended in success for Saki with only five seconds remaining of the first round. Another MMA striking war could be on the cards in what will be Saki’s third MMA fight in his illustrious career which, is full of epic kickboxing KOs; and capped-off by winning the GLORY light-heavyweight title in 2014 and the 2008 K-1 World Grand Prix in Hawaii.
Saki mocks MMA’s stereotypical mindset of dealing with elite strikers
“Khalil is a hard worker, I think. He’s a nice fighter, but with me, I’m sure he’s going to try and wrestle. I think a lot of wrestling coaches are going to thank me because they can make big money now. Everybody will want private wrestling lessons now because they don’t want to fight me standing up.”
“His standup is nice. If you don’t know anything about striking his fighting style looks sick, but I’ve fought everybody. In my eyes, he tries to strike – I am a striker.”
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Verbal sparring and Saki’s MMA grappling on point
If Saki’s highlight reel KOs weren’t enough, his verbal pre-fight sparring certainly packs a punch, with the the K-1 legend making it very clear that he is heads and shoulders above Rountree in the striking department.
“It’s like I’m Ronaldo and he just plays football in the park with his friends.”
“My wrestling is getting sick. I’m really happy with my progress because I feel I understand the game. My jiu-jitsu is coming on very well too. My striking technique is even improving and I’ve been going in with some big guys,” he said.
“I will make him fight the way I want him to fight. This is my next step. I will make them all fight on my terms.”
“What you saw in Japan, my kickboxing was maybe 35 percent. I didn’t train much kickboxing ahead of the fight because I had to learn so many different things in such a short time. There was too much to do.”
“I’m going to show a different level. People don’t want to see everything in one day. I’m going to show them step-by-step who Saki is.”