MMA Preview – Gokhan Saki vs Khalil Rountree Jr. at UFC 226

AT A GLANCE

When is UFC 226? Sunday 8th July, 2018 – 01:00 (UK)

Where is UFC 226? T-Mobile Arena, Paradise, Nevada

What channel is UFC 226 on? BT Sport 2

Where can I stream UFC 226? BT Sport subscribers can stream the fight online via the BT website

Are tickets still available for UFC 226? http://uk.ufc.com/event-ticket...

THE STATISTICS

THE LOWDOWN

We have a fitting appetiser to kick off the main card between two ferocious strikers who are fully expected to throw down in a brutal slugfest. Gokhan Saki makes his third MMA appearance against Khalil Rountree Jr. in what will be his sixth UFC fight.

After losing in the final of The Ultimate Fighter, Rountree was gifted another chance but lost his second UFC fight to Tyson Pedro. However, he responded with two exceptional knockouts against Daniel Jolly and Paul Craig, showcasing his powerful and explosive striking. He then lost via a decision to Michal Oleksiejczuk but that was overturned due to the Pole failing a drugs test.

The main course for fight fans has to be Saki. He is a Kickboxing legend with a record of 83-12 and after an unsuccessful first attempt at MMA in 2004, he returned and knocked out Henrique da Silva at UFC Fight Night 117 in a thrilling fight.

THE PREDICTION

Both men are destructive strikers with minimal interest in grappling – especially Saki who after a long Kickboxing career is solely interested in applying these skills and putting on a spectacle for the fans.

Expect these juggernauts to exchange from the bell, hunting each other’s chin. They both possess devastating knockout power in all limbs and will be confident they can land so every striking stat is important.

If the fight stays on the feet, you have to favour Saki but even though Rountree prefers to stand and bang – eight years of MMA training will surely mean his grappling is good enough to take the fight away from the Kickboxer.

Winner: Rountree via Decision

Striking and grappling stats sourced via FightMetric