K-1 Legend Gokhan Saki Parts Ways With the UFC

Published 02/09/2021, 8:31 AM EST


Former kickboxing legend, Gokhan Saki, has reportedly parted ways with the UFC. A former K-1 Grand Prix champion and Glory light-heavyweight champion, Saki signed with the UFC in 2017. He made his debut for the promotion later that year in Japan, as he knocked Henrique Da Silva out cold.

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Despite going through some early adversity in that fight, Saki turned the lights out on his opponent. Saki made his second appearance in the promotion against Khalil Rountree. After a barrage of punches, Rountree managed to overpower the legend and eventually won the fight.

Since then, we haven’t seen Saki in the UFC.

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A string of injuries limited his appearances for the world’s premier MMA organization. Notably, a loss under the Cage Warriors promotion in 2004 was Saki’s only MMA experience prior to his UFC debut.

Hence, fans were excited to see the legendary kickboxer transition to a full-time MMA career through the UFC. Being an untested entity in the sport, the sky was the limit for Saki.

Unfortunately, his age played spoilsport as injuries completely derailed his UFC career. His battles against the likes of Badr Hari, Melvin Manhoef, Ray Sefo, and more are still fresh in the memories of the combat faithful.

But the UFC is currently looking to cut down on their bloated roster. Recent reports suggest that the Turkish kickboxer is the latest addition in a long list of fighters to get cut by the promotion.

Although, it looks like Saki doesn’t intend to retire from fighting yet, and he will continue competing with a return to kick-boxing on the cards.

Gokhan Saki was among many kickboxing legends to fight in the UFC

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The likes of Alistair Overeem and Melvin Manhoef are a few prominent names to have shone in the world of kickboxing and the UFC. Saki was another addition to that list of fighters. But he didn’t last more than two fights.

Saki’s battles against Badr Hari, Rico Verhoeven and Melvin Manhoef rank high among legendary kickboxing battles over the years. It’s saddening that UFC fans didn’t get much of that action on display inside the Octagon.

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What do you make of Gokhan Saki’s release? Where should he fight next?

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Apratim Banerjee

889 articles

Apratim Banerjee is an MMA author for EssentiallySports and has been writing professionally for almost a year. Before his current gig, Apratim worked as a UFC writer for Sportskeeda. A long-time MMA fan, Apratim has developed a critical eye for the sport that has helped him transfer his vast knowledge to his copies and give hardcore and casual readers a detailed insight into the fights and fighters.

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