On May 25th, 2017, the UFC announced that they had signed kickboxing legend Gokhan Saki.
Gokhan is a very high-level, high-profile kickboxer with a record of 83-16-1 w/ 59KO. His kickboxing record has made him a massive name within the sport. With notable wins against guys like Tyrone Spong, Ray Sefo, and Melvin Manhoef, Saki has put together a tremendous record over the years.
Saki has won multiple titles in multiple organizations. He has championship accolades at super heavyweight, heavyweight and light heavyweight. Gokhan previously trained out of the famed Mike’s Gym in the Netherlands. For the past 3 years, he has been training with a team out in Dubai with help from Mike as well.
Gokhan has admitted that he previously did not really watch the UFC but was drawn to the promotion after watching Conor McGregor.
He has also stated in an interview with Ariel Helwani that he was not looking to sign with any organizations but had an old manager reach out to him in regards to signing with the UFC. Stating that he did not want to continue with Glory Kickboxing due to inactivity.
Gokhan’s first UFC bout will take place in Japan against Henrique da Silva at UFC Fight Night 117 on Sept 23, 2017. Early in his kickboxing career, Saki had an MMA bout; facing James Zikic on July 11, 2004, at Cage Fighting Championships 1: Cage Carnage. He lost the fight via TKO.
Silva is coming into this fight on a 3-fight losing streak, meaning his contract with the UFC is likely on the line. Saki is reportedly training with the likes of Alexander Gustafsson and Ilir Latifi ahead of his UFC debut.