The UFC's foray to Glasgow, Scotland, for UFC Fight Night 113 was supposed to be a boring affair. A layover between the absurd Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Conor McGregor world tour and the two big UFC events set to close out July. Any event with Khalil Rountree is one worth watching, though.
MMA fans might not recognize his name quite yet, but they've likely seen his work in the past. His propensity for delivering vicious knockouts has seen him go viral on a few occasions, and he did not disappoint on Sunday afternoon. Facing Paul Craig, he added another clip to his ever-expanding highlight reel. Check out the footage:
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Kicks and Hammerfists! Khalil Rountree finishes off Paul Craig in impressive fashion! WOW! #UFCGlasgow https://t.co/7eShELfcb32017-7-16 19:54:29
While knocking a man unconscious with one punch with that little wind-up is an impressive feat, it's not close to the greatest highlight of his career...or even his time in this promotion.
UFC fans got their first taste of Rountree on The Ultimate Fighter Season 23, where he posted one of the scariest knockouts of the year by soccer kicking Muhammed Dereese. He earned his way to the finals of the season by knocking out Josh Stansbury.
Back-to-back losses to Andrew Sanchez (in the TUF 23 finals) and Tyson Pedro pushed him to the brink of being released, however. His fight with Daniel Jolly in February was likely a do-or-die affair for him, and with his back to the wall, he delivered a knockout that will likely go down as one of the year's best:
OHHH MY KNEE!!! @War_Khalil #UFCHouston https://t.co/HLENLFFxYR2017-2-5 00:12:52
At 27 years old and with a brand of savagery the Octagon hasn't seen in years, there's a lot to like about him going forward in the wide-open light heavyweight division. His win over Craig evened his UFC record to 2-2, and there are many interesting matchups out there in the UFC for him.
If he can keep up this momentum and continue to sharpen his tools, he could become a championship-caliber talent at 205 pounds.