Gokhan Saki quickly booked again, meets Khalil Rountree at UFC 219

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Filed under: News, UFC

UFC matchmakers wasted no time booking Gokhan Saki for his second bout.

Saki (1-1 MMA, 1-0 UFC) is slated to fight fellow light heavyweight Khalil Rountree (6-2 MMA, 2-2 UFC) at UFC 219, officials today announced.

UFC 219 takes place Dec. 30 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. It airs on pay-per-view following prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass, though the full fight card and bout order haven’t been finalized.

Saki, a 33-year-old Dutch-Turkish kickboxer, returned to MMA for the first time in 13 years this past month at UFC Fight Night 117, where he scored a blistering first-round knockout of Henrique da Silva. The victory earned him a “Performance of the Night” bonus and resulted in a memorable post-fight interview.

He now meets Rountree, who was a runner-up on “The Ultimate Fighter 23” and started his UFC career with losses to Andrew Sanchez and Tyson Pedro. However, the 27-year-old has since rebounded with back-to-back first-round knockouts of Daniel Jolly and Paul Craig.

With the addition, the UFC 219 lineup now includes:

  • Dominick Cruz vs. Jimmie Rivera
  • Carlos Condit vs. Neil Magny
  • Cynthia Calvillo vs. Carla Esparza
  • Matheus Nicolau vs. Louis Smolka
  • Khalil Rountree vs. Gokhan Saki

For more on UFC 219, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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Despite boos after standing over KO'd opponent, Khalil Rountree says Scottish fans got their wish

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Filed under: Featured Videos, News, UFC, Videos

GLASGOW – Khalil Rountree didn’t win over many fans in the immediate aftermath of his violent knockout victory on Sunday at UFC Fight Night 113. Earlier in the week, though, was a different story, he said.

Rountree (6-2 MMA, 2-2 UFC) shut down Scotland’s own Paul Craig (9-2 MMA, 1-2 UFC) in their FS1-televised light-heavyweight bout at SSE Hydro in Glasgow. Rountree, a finalist on “The Ultimate Fighter 23,” posted his second straight knockout victory. It was another vicious one, and Rountree elicited some boos as he coldly stared and stood over a seemingly unconscious Craig with the first-round punches.

Rountree also got some backlash on social media, but the 27-year-old light heavyweight said he was actually warmly welcomed in Glasgow on fight week.

“They were really supportive fans,” he said after his win. “I’ve had a lot of support from the Glasgow people, which was surprising for me. Most of them wanted me to knock out Paul Craig in the first round. So, Glasgow – there you go.”

Of course, Rountree had a little reason to rub in the victory; two days before the event, Craig proudly declared Rountree would be unable to knock him out.

However, Rountree did so – and rather emphatically.

“I just remember guerrilla ground and pounding his face into the canvas,” he said. “That was the highlight of my night.”

Still, he was clearly in enemy territory on fight night, though he blocked out the jeers.

“I did a really good job of not letting it affect me emotionally,” he said. “I was just keeping my eye on the prize.”

As for what’s next? Rountree just wants the best opponents he can get. After losing his first two UFC fights (to Andrew Sanchez and Tyson Pedro), he’s got back-to-back wins over Daniel Jolly and Craig.

“I don’t want to be a fighter for really long,” he said. “I don’t want to be one of these old guys fighting for checks, just to stay alive. So I want to fight the hardest guys. Give me a guy at the top. I’ll take his spot and hold it down. … Every fight is nerve-wracking. Every fight is nervous. Every opponent is tough. That’s why we’re in the UFC, so I think I’d like to take a shot at a big guy and hold down a spot at the top up there.”

But after his Glasgow win, his immediate plans were a bit more simple: go back to the hotel, order room service and watch “Family Guy” with his team.

And also, “I’m going to go get a Scottish flag and take it home as an accomplishment,” he said.

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 113, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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UFC Fight Night 113 video highlights: Khalil Rountree vs. Paul Craig

Filed under: News, UFC, Videos

Khalil Rountree might just be past the point of being a disappointment compared to his potential.

Rountree (6-2 MMA, 2-2 UFC) shut down Scotland’s own Paul Craig (9-2 MMA, 1-2 UFC) in a big way late in the first round for his second straight knockout. The “TUF” finalist silenced the Glasgow fans with the vicious stoppage, then stood over his opponent to add a little insult to injury.

The light heavyweight fight was part of the main card of today’s UFC Fight Night 113 event at SSE Hydro in Glasgow, Scotland. It aired on FS1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass.

Check out the highlights above.

Also see:

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 113, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

Filed under: News, UFC, Videos
Source: MMA Junkie

UFC Fight Night 113 results: Khalil Rountree thrashes Paul Craig for first-round KO

Khalil Rountree stalked Paul Craig with all of the patience of someone with dynamite in his fists. And once he started to connect, it wasn’t long before Craig was lying on the canvas.

Rountree (6-2 MMA, 2-2 UFC) slammed several left hands into Craig (9-2 MMA, 1-2 UFC) before putting him out cold with a short right uppercut in the final seconds of the opening frame.

The light heavyweight bout was part of the main card of today’s UFC Fight Night 113 event at SSE Hydro in Glasgow, Scotland. It aired on FS1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass.

The fight was wrapped at the 4:56 mark of the opening frame as Craig lolled to his back after taking Rountree’s punch. A high kick set up the fight-ending shot as Rountree tried to get Craig back for a body kick he took just moments earlier.

Craig, who professed to have the tools to take away Rountree’s concussive gift, played a cautious game plan from the start, kicking at the legs and circling out of dangers. Rountree fired off left hands, missing initially before dialing in his range.

Craig’s head snapped back with the first shot landed, suggesting bad things were to come if he didn’t adjust. And sure enough, once Rountree got aggressive and closed the distance, Craig wilted with a solid shot to the chin.

The knockout marks the second straight knockout win for Rountree after a 52-second drubbing of Daniel Jolly, while Craig suffers his second straight knockout loss after getting stopped by Tyson Pedro in March.

Up-to-the-minute UFC Fight Night 113 results include:

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 113, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

(MMAjunkie’s Abbey Subhan contributed to this report on site in Glasgow.)

Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

UFC Fight Night 113's Paul Craig: Khail Rountree can't knock me out

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GLASGOW – UFC light heavyweight Paul Craig was stopped for the first time in his previous fight, but he believes that was a one-time setback.

Craig (9-1 MMA, 1-1 UFC) is confident he is going to turn the tables against Khalil Rountree (5-2 MMA, 1-2 UFC), a knockout artist who stopped his previous opponent in 52 seconds with a knee, when the two face off at UFC Fight Night 113.

“(Rountree) said in an interview, ‘You don’t know how to beat me.’ Well, I honestly know how to beat this guy,” Craig told MMAjunkie backstage at a media day for their fight, which takes place at SSE Hydro in Glasgow, Scotland, and streams live on UFC Fight Pass.

After a setback against Tyson Pedro at UFC 209, Craig, a native of Airdrie, Scotland, took steps to rebuild his career. He quit his job as a teacher to pursue fighting full time. No longer was his training schedule competing with his work schedule.

“I couldn’t continue the way I was going on,” he said. “I was getting up at 6 and running and lifting weights, and then going straight to work. And then after work, I was in the gym. It was a horrible lifestyle leading up to that point. I’m just glad I stepped back.

“After my fight for UFC 209, I’m sitting at home, and I was like, ‘I’ve got nothing to do.’ So I went and got a dog to give me a companion.”

Craig said he can always go back to teaching, but if he’s going to make a go of fighting, he better well train as efficiently as possible.

In preparation for this fight, he’s boxed with professional boxers and sparred with high-level MMA fighters. He said of Rountree’s knockout plans, “If they can’t do it, he’s not going to do it.”

Once a fan of UFC who watched from the stands, Craig has visualized his success in the octagon. Yet he doesn’t expect the walk for this fight to be any different than others. The only difference is he’ll feel a lot more at home.

“I was sitting at home watching TV,” he said of his fight-week schedule. “That’s perfect, rather than sitting in a hotel room with my coach.”

For more on UFC Fight Night 113, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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UFC Fight Night 113 staff picks: Gunnar Nelson 1 of 2 unanimous picks in Scotland

Nelson
vs.
Ponzinibbio
Calderwood
vs.
Calvillo
Felder
vs.
Ray
Janes
vs.
Marshman
Craig
vs.
Rountree
Mulheron
vs.
Willis
MMAjunkie readers’
consensus picks
2017: 66-49
gnelson2017
Nelson
(87%)
calvillo2017
Calvillo
(50.1%)
felder2017
Felder
(54%)
marshman2017
Marshman
(74%)
pcraig2017
Craig
(60%)
mulheron2017
Mulheron
(64%)
Simon Samano
@SJSamano
2017: 75-40
gnelson2017
Nelson
calderwood2017
Calderwood
ray2017
Ray
marshman2017
Marshman
pcraig2017
Craig
mulheron2017
Mulheron
Matt Erickson @MMAjunkieMatt
2017: 73-42
gnelson2017
Nelson
calderwood2017
Calderwood
ray2017
Ray
marshman2017
Marshman
rountree2017
Rountree
justinwillis2017
Willis
Dann Stupp
@DannStupp
2017: 71-44
trophy copy 2015 Champion
gnelson2017
Nelson
calvillo2017
Calvillo
felder2017
Felder
marshman2017
Marshman
rountree2017
Rountree
justinwillis2017
Willis
Brian Garcia
@thegoze
2017: 69-46
gnelson2017
Nelson
calvillo2017
Calvillo
felder2017
Felder
marshman2017
Marshman
rountree2017
Rountree
justinwillis2017
Willis
Ben Fowlkes @BenFowlkesMMA
2017: 69-46
trophy copy 2016 Champion
gnelson2017
Nelson
calderwood2017
Calderwood
ray2017
Ray
marshman2017
Marshman
pcraig2017
Craig
justinwillis2017
Willis
Steven Marrocco @MMAjunkieSteven
2017: 69-46
gnelson2017
Nelson
calvillo2017
Calvillo
ray2017
Ray
marshman2017
Marshman
pcraig2017
Craig
justinwillis2017
Willis
Fernanda Prates @nandaprates_
2017: 67-48
gnelson2017
Nelson
calvillo2017
Calvillo
ray2017
Ray
marshman2017
Marshman
pcraig2017
Craig
justinwillis2017
Willis
Mike Bohn @MikeBohnMMA
2017: 59-46
trophy copy 2014 Champion
gnelson2017
Nelson
calderwood2017
Calderwood
felder2017
Felder
marshman2017
Marshman
pcraig2017
Craig
justinwillis2017
Willis
George Garcia @MMAjunkieGeorge
2017: 64-51
gnelson2017
Nelson
calvillo2017
Calvillo
ray2017
Ray
marshman2017
Marshman
rountree2017
Rountree
justinwillis2017
Willis
John Morgan @MMAjunkieJohn
2017: 62-53
gnelson2017
Nelson
calvillo2017
Calvillo
ray2017
Ray
marshman2017
Marshman
rountree2017
Rountree
justinwillis2017
Willis

The UFC is back in Scotland for a rare Sunday show this week.

UFC Fight Night 113 takes place Sunday at SSE Hydro in Glasgow, Scotland. The card airs on FS1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass.

(Click here to open a PDF of the staff picks grid in a separate window.)

In the main event, Iceland’s Gunnar Nelson (16-2-1 MMA, 7-2 UFC) takes on Brazilian Santiago Ponzinibbio (24-3 MMA, 6-2 UFC) in a welterweight bout. Nelson is just a mild favorite at around -160, but he is a unanimous pick from our 10 MMAjunkie editors, writers and radio hosts.

In the co-main event, Scotland’s own Joanne Calderwood (11-2 MMA, 3-2 UFC) meets unbeaten Team Alpha Male product Cynthia Calvillo (5-0 MMA, 2-0 UFC) in a women’s strawweight fight. Calvillo is more than a 2-1 favorite, but she only has a 6-4 edge in the picks.

Also on the main card, Paul Felder (13-3 MMA, 5-3 UFC) takes on Stevie Ray (21-6 MMA, 5-1 UFC) at lightweight. Ray will be fighting in front of his home Scotland crowd and is a 7-3 pick from our staff members. Jack Marshman (21-6 MMA, 1-1 UFC) joins Nelson as the other unanimous pick on the card for his middleweight fight against Ryan Janes (9-2 MMA, 1-1 UFC).

It’s a dead-even 5-5 split between Paul Craig (9-1 MMA, 1-1 UFC) and Khalil Rountree (5-2 MMA, 1-2 UFC) in their light heavyweight bout. And despite being the underdog, Justin Willis (4-1 MMA, 0-0 UFC) has a 9-1 edge in the picks against fellow UFC heavyweight newcomer James Mulheron (11-1 MMA, 0-0 UFC).

In the MMAjunkie reader consensus picks, Nelson, Calvillo, Felder, Marshman, Craig and Mulheron are the choices.

Check out all the picks above.

For more on UFC Fight Night 113, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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Source: MMA Junkie

MMAjunkie reader predictions: Make your picks for UFC Fight Night 113 in Scotland

We want your predictions for Sunday’s UFC Fight Night 113 event in Scotland.

Our staff picks feature includes the consensus picks from MMAjunkie readers. Simply cast your vote for each bout below, and we’ll use the official tallies that are registered by Thursday at noon ET (9 a.m. PT).

Those MMAjunkie MMA reader consensus picks will be part of the UFC Fight Night 113 staff picks we release on Friday ahead of the event. UFC Fight Night 113 takes place July 16, a Sunday, at SSE Hydro in Glasgow, Scotland. The card airs on FS1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass.

* * * *

Gunnar Nelson vs. Santiago Ponzinibbio

Records: Gunnar Nelson (16-2-1 MMA, 7-2 UFC), Santiago Ponzinibbio (24-3 MMA, 6-2 UFC)
Past five: Nelson 3-2, Ponzinibbio 4-1
Division: Welterweight
Rankings: Nelson honorable mention
Odds (as of 7/10/17): Nelson -200, Ponzinibbio +160

Take Our Poll
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Joanne Calderwood vs. Cynthia Calvillo

Records: Joanne Calderwood (11-2 MMA, 3-2 UFC), Cynthia Calvillo (5-0 MMA, 2-0 UFC)
Past five: Calderwood 3-2, Calvillo 5-0
Division: Women’s strawweight
Rankings: Calderwood No. 12
Odds (as of 7/10/17): N/A

Take Our Poll
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Paul Felder vs. Stevie Ray

Records: Paul Felder (13-3 MMA, 5-3 UFC), Stevie Ray (21-6 MMA, 5-1 UFC)
Past five: Felder 3-2, Ray 4-1
Division: Lightweight
Rankings: None
Odds (as of 7/10/17): N/A

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Ryan Janes vs. Jack Marshman

Records: Ryan Janes (9-2 MMA, 1-1 UFC), Jack Marshman (21-6 MMA, 1-1 UFC)
Past five: Janes 4-1, Marshman 4-1
Division: Middleweight
Rankings: None
Odds (as of 7/10/17): N/A

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Paul Craig vs. Khalil Rountree

Records: Paul Craig (9-1 MMA, 1-1 UFC), Khalil Rountree (5-2 MMA, 1-2 UFC)
Past five: Craig 4-1, Rountree 3-2
Division: Light heavyweight
Rankings: None
Odds (as of 7/10/17): N/A

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James Mulheron vs. Justin Willis

Records: James Mulheron (11-1 MMA, 0-0 UFC), Justin Willis (4-1 MMA, 0-0 UFC)
Past five: Mulheron 4-1, Willis 4-1
Division: Heavyweight
Rankings: None
Odds (as of 7/10/17): N/A

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For more on UFC Fight Night 113, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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