Gokhan Saki is favored over Khalil Rountree Jr. at UFC 226 on Saturday night in Las Vegas, Nevada. This event is one of five on the main pay-per-view card. Saki is 1-1 in his career, while Rountree Jr. is 6-2 in his career. There are a total of five fights on the main pay-per-view card, with the headliner a bout between Stipe Miocic and Daniel Cormier. There are also a total of seven fights on the preliminary card with four on FS1 and three on UFC Fight Pass. Let’s look at the bout between Saki and Rountree Jr. and UFC predictions.
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Gokhan Saki (1-1, 1-0 UFC)
Saki made his UFC debut in September of 2017 and defeated Henrique da Silva by KO and has not fought since. Before that, he fought against James Zikic and lost by TKO in July of 2004. Saki has been a pro since 2004 and has one win by TKO and he has one first round finish.
Saki said this to mmamania.com about his upcoming fight with Rountree Jr., “Everybody says he’s a standup fighter, and for me, I think he’s trying to stand up. People don’t understand standup fighting, so they’re really excited about the way he’s fighting. But I think everything is OK, you know? I think when they see my standup compared with his, and then they’re going to see what’s real standup fighting. So for me, maybe he doesn’t stand up with me, he’s going to try to wrestle with me or he’s going to try to do Jiu-Jitsu with me. Well, I don’t think he has the quality for that, you know? In a short time, to learn this all, to bring this all together. What does Khalil bring to the table? Nothing. There is no seat for him at this table. He has too much weakness. I know what those weaknesses are. For him to work on that? It’s too late. I’m already here.”
Khalil Rountree Jr. (6-2, 2-2 UFC)
Rountree Jr. came into the UFC with a record of 4-0 and has two wins and two losses in the UFC. He defeated Daniel Jolly by KO and Paul Craig by KO while losing to Andrew Sanchez by unanimous decision and Tyson Pedro by submission. Rountree Jr. has been a pro since 2014 and has four wins by TKO/KO. He has four first round finishes.
Khalil Rountree Jr. said this to mmajunkie.com about his upcoming fight against Saki, “At the moment, I feel calm, I’m pretty nervous. My heart is beating pretty fast. Got a bunch of people in front of me with cameras and stuff. (I’ve) got a lot of feelings. Definitely a lot. I don’t want to get caught up in an expectation of how it’s going to turn out like a solid outcome because I’ve done that in the past, and in a sense, it kind of let me get down. Like, I had my mind set on a certain way the fight would go, and in that moment, it didn’t happen, and just internally, it’s not a good feeling. I don’t want to expect anything (against Saki). The expectation of something – or how I’m going to feel – I just don’t want to let myself down.”
Strikes landed per minute: Saki 8.42 / Rountree Jr. 2.18
Accuracy: Saki 60% / Rountree Jr. 32%
Strikes absorbed per minute: Saki 4.21/ Rountree Jr. 3.21
Defense: Saki 55% / Rountree Jr. 39%
Takedown average: Saki 0.00 / Rountree Jr. 0.00
Accuracy: Saki 0% / Rountree Jr. 0%
Takedowns defended: Saki 100% / Rountree Jr. 50%
Submission average: Saki 0.0 / Rountree Jr. 0.4
The oddsmakers have Saki listed as the favorite even though he has less overall experience. Oddsmakers usually know what is going on and I am going to side with them and take Saki to win this fight.
UFC 226 takes place on Saturday, July 7, 2018 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. There are five fights on the main-per-view card, featuring Stipe Miocic taking on Daniel Cormier. There are seven fights on the preliminary card with four on FS1 and three on UFC Fight Pass.
Main Card (Pay-Per-View)
Heavyweight – Stip Miocic -255 vs. Daniel Cormier
Featherweight – Max Holloway -152 vs. Brian Ortega
Heavyweight – Francis Ngannou -365 vs. Derrick Lewis
Lightweight – Michael Chiesa -160 vs. Anthony Pettis
Light Heavyweight –Gokhan Saki -140 vs. Khalil Rountree Jr.
Preliminary Card (FS1)
Middleweight – Paulo Costa -465 vs. Uriah Hall
Welterweight – Paul Felder -150 vs. Mike Perry
Bantamweight –Raphael Assunção -180 vs. Rob Font
Welterweight – Curtis Millender -170 vs. Max Griffin
Preliminary Card (UFC Fight Pass)
Lightweight – Dan Hooker -125 vs. Gilbert Burns
Lightweight - Lando Vannata -170 vs. Drakkar Klose
Women’s Strawweight – Jamie Moyle -200 vs. Emily Whitmire
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