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Gokhan Saki vs. Khalil Rountree UFC 226 Pick, Preview, Odds, Prediction - 7/7/18

Khalil Rountree vs. Gokhan Saki

UFC: Saturday, July 7, 2018 (T-Mobile Arena)

The Line: -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds

TV: PPV

Gokhan Saki and Khalil Rountree fight Saturday during UFC 226 at the T-Mobile Arena.

Gokhan Saki enters this fight with a 1-1 record and has won 100 percent of his fights by knockout. Saki is coming off a September win over Henrique da Silva in his UFC debut and first MMA fight since 2004. Saki is averaging 8.42 significant strikes per minute with an accuracy percentage of 60.6 percent. Saki is averaging zero takedowns with an accuracy percentage of zero percent. Saki lived up to the hype in his UFC debut, as he landed 40 significant strikes, produced two knockdowns and eventually got the knockout in the first round. Saki earned performance of the night for his performance. Saki obviously has very little MMA experience under his belt and is still a work in progress, but he has a deep kickboxing background and has produced an 83-12 record that does back to 2000. Saki may need to work on his grappling, scrambling and wrestling, but he can survive for the time being due to elite striking ability and terrific hand speed. Saki is a powerful striker with heavy hands and strong legs that have helped him earn various titles throughout combat sports. Saki is considered the Turkish Tyson and has to feel he has the edge against anybody standing up. This will be Saki’s first career fight in the United States. 

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Gokhan Saki vs. Khalil Rountree UFC 226 Pick, Preview, Odds, Prediction - 7/7/18

Susumu Nagao-USA TODAY Sports

Khalil Rountree enters this fight with a 6-2-1 record and has won 71 percent of his fights by knockout. Rountree has split his last six fights and is coming off a December loss to Michal Oleksiejczuk. Rountree is averaging 2.18 significant strikes per minute with an accuracy percentage of 32.9 percent. Rountree is averaging zero takedowns with an accuracy percentage of zero percent. Rountree is coming off a decision loss in which he ate 113 strikes and was taken down twice, but the result was reversed after Oleksiejczuk tested positive for clomiphene. Rountree has still lost three of his five UFC fights and is eager for a marquee victory to kind of put himself on the map. Rountree is known for his striking ability, as he has one punch knockout power and uses his legs just as well. Rountree still has yet to produce a takedown on the UFC level and needs to improve his grappling ability, but he lands 75 percent of his strikes standing up and is very dangerous on counters. If Rountree can stay on his feet, he has to like his chances to control the fight and eventually land that one strike that changes the bout. This will be Rountree’s third career fight in Las Vegas. 

This should be a fun backyard brawl between two powerful strikers who have little to no interest in takedowns or even grappling. Rountree is obviously the more polished MMA fighter and has a slight advantage in height and reach. However, this is a fight that plays into Saki’s style, as he’ll be able to trade blows standing up and not have to worry about much else. When Saki can fight in his comfort zone, you can’t bet against him. The guy is ridiculously powerful and has the type of power that can drop somebody even when he doesn’t land completely clean. We’re about to see just how strong Rountree’s chin is.

Saki wins this fight.

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