Former kickboxing star Gokhan Saki will no longer be competing at UFC 219.
Fresh off a scintillating KO in his UFC debut, longtime kickboxing star Gokhan Saki was supposed to take on light heavyweight prospect Khalil Rountree at UFC 219, but that will not longer be happening.
In a statement released on his official Instagram page, Saki revealed that a training injury has forced him off the card.
The statement reads as follows:
As has been announced everywhere, I’m not fighting on the UFC 219 card. I wanted to announce this myself but I needed some time to recover mentally from this bad news. I got injured during a training and went to the hospital for this. My team and management took the decision with the medical team that I needed treatment and I have to think of my health first. I didn’t want to accept this but I’m glad I have the right people around me. It felt like I let my fans and supporters down, I was really looking forward to this fight. So the bad news was a bitter pill to swallow. But this is top sports and injuries are unfortunately a part of it. I’m recovering now and will be back in training soon. I want to thank my opponent Khalil for preparing for me and I wish him best of luck on December 30th. I want to thank all my fans/supporters for their great messages and I promise you 2018 I will give you KNOCK-OUTS! One knee, no knee, I will be there violently!!!!
The 34-year-old Saki (1-1) knocked out Luis Henrique da Silva at UFC Japan in September, in what was just the second MMA fight of his career and his first one since losing to James Zikic in 2004. Saki, a former GLORY light heavyweight champion, signed with the UFC in May of this year, and he aims to be competing for the title itself in 2018.
As for Rountree (6-2), he will remain on the UFC 219 lineup, as Poland’s Michal Oleksiejczuk has agreed to face him on short notice. Oleksiejczuk was scheduled to fight Ion Cutelaba at UFC 217, but the fight was cancelled the day before the event after it was revealed that Cutelaba was flagged for a USADA violation.
UFC 219 is headlined by a women’s featherweight championship bout between Cris Cyborg and Holly Holm. The card takes place at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada on Saturday, December 30th.