“Just Trying to Control My Emotions”- Fighting His Own Demons, Khalil Rountree Jr. Lays Bare the Real Reason He Spared Anthony Smith Some Damage at UFC Vegas 83

Published 12/10/2023, 7:41 AM EST

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UFC light heavyweight contender Khalil ‘The War Horse’ Rountree Jr. has secured his win against Anthony ‘Lionheart’ Smith with an impressive finish in the third round. At the co-main event of UFC Fight Night: Song vs. Gutierrez. Rountree is currently tied for the longest winning streak inside the Octagon in the light heavyweight division. So what caused the sudden change in Rountree?

Khalil Rountree Jr. has been known for his berserker kill or be killed style of fighting. Which has cost him some losses inside the Octagon. Rountree showed control against Smith after his knockdown, not rushing in for the kill. This change in Rountree’s recent fights has led him to be more controlled and calculated in his fights, leading him to secure a 5-fight win streak. Here’s what Rountree had to say after his win.

Rountree Jr. explains why he didn’t jump in to finish Anthony Smith


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In the post-fight interview with the UFC, when asked about him not diving in for the finish in his fight against ‘Lionheart’, Rountree responded by saying, “I’m trying to be better at staying in control of my weapons and my emotions.”

Khalil Rountree Jr. then went on to add, “There’s been highlights of me kicking guys in the ground and like, you know, just crazy hammer fists after I’ve knocked people down. And so I think that I think it just trying to control my emotions a little bit more.”


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‘The War Horse’ concluded by giving ‘Lionheart’ his props on being a dangerous fighter, saying, “And it’s Anthony Smith. So who knows? If I kind of dove in, he wasn’t really out, you know, and I just, I couldn’t take any chances with this guy. I’m putting in a lot of work, a lot of dedication, and the only thing that matters to me right now is just getting to the title.”


Khalil Rountree Jr. seems to have found his pace inside the Octagon. Rountree has finished 4 of the 5 fights in his current winning streak and looks like a top contender in the division. This led ‘The War Horse’ to call out the best in the division.

Alex Pereira gets called out by a new top 10 contender


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After Rountree’s TKO win over Anthony Smith, Khalil Rountree Jr. breaks into the Top 10 rankings of the UFC light heavyweight division. The win against Smith led him to call out none other than the new light heavyweight champion, Alex ‘Poatan’ Pereira, in the post-fight interview inside the cage.

Rountree claims that the fight between the two would be something the fans would look forward to. And it is true, as the two fighters would put on a striking masterclass, with Rountree’s Muay Thai and Pereira’s kickboxing.


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Do you think Khalil Rountree Jr. deserves a title shot after his performance against Anthony Smith? Or should he win some more fights against the top 10 fighters to secure the title shot? Let us know your opinions in the comments section below.

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Written by:

Imtikokba Jamir


One take at a time

As someone who's spent her childhood experiencing combat sports firsthand, I have always been in awe of the action in the cage. Post a Degree with Honors in Literature, I quickly realised my penmanship needed some gloves. So here I am , Imtikokba Jamir, a pro writer for UFC at EssentiallySports.
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Edited by:

Abhishek Kumar Das