Gokhan Saki scored a first round, stoppage win in his UFC debut last weekend, and the feared striker says the MMA world hasn’t seen nothing yet…
Saki threw down with Henrique da Silva at UFC Fight Night 117 on Friday, which took place in Saitama, Japan. Right out of the gate, Saki had da Silva in a ton of trouble, after he decked him with a booming punch. But, to the light-heavyweight’s credit, da Silva held in there, and he proceeded to push Saki back as the latter fatigued. That is, until the decorated kickboxer floored da Silva with a thunderous left hand.
Since his victorious debut, Saki appeared on “The MMA Hour”, and he had this to say about the cardio issues he encountered during the fight (quote via MMA Fighting):
“After my last fight – it was a kickboxing fight – I was always ready for three minutes. Now, it was five minutes. Like I said, I only started training this year in MMA conditioning and you cannot build it up in a couple of months.
“After every fight you need to keep training to build up your muscle conditioning and your strength conditioning. If I had a kickboxing fight, maybe I would be tired because I didn’t train for this.”
It will be interesting what kind of changes Saki makes as he gets further into his MMA career, and how he looks in his next fight. While discussing the future, “The Rebel” made the following promise:
“Now I’ve started training again already because this was my first time in an ultimate fight. It was only 50 percent. This is just the beginning. I’m really happy to be back on this big stage. I’m ready to show many, many more things.”
Ya. If Saki can put together some solid defensive wrestling skills, and shores up his cardio, he could be a force at 205. His striking skills have obviously never been in doubt, but facing that kind of hand speed and power with MMA gloves, is a terrifying prospect.
Saki was competing in just his second MMA bout at UFC FN 117, as he lost to James Zikic over a decade ago under MMA rules.