Welcome to the UFC, Gokhan Saki.
The former kickboxing superstar finally made his debut inside the Octagon on Friday night and he finished Henrique da Silva with a highlight reel left hook that brought the crowd in Japan to its feet.
Prior to make his debut in the UFC, Saki was one of the most feared strikers on the planet competing in both K-1 and GLORY kickboxing, but with challenges few and far between these days he opted to make a return to mixed martial arts.
Saki had fought MMA once previously in his career all the way back in 2004, but 13 years later it was almost like that bout never happened.
It didn’t take long for the “Turkish Tyson” to display his power during an initial exchange with da Silva on the feet as he dropped the Brazilian with a straight left hand down the middle.
Saki’s assault continued throughout the first round as he landed a barrage of left hands that rattled da Silva numerous times, but to his credit, the UFC veteran weathered the storm amidst a bloody nose, while eating a ton of shots.
As time ticked away, Saki started to slow down as his hands began to drop and his legs weren’t moving quite as quickly and da Silva was quick to take advantage. The Brazilian swarmed forward with several hard shots of his own, grabbing into the clinch and looking for knees and elbows from inside while pressing the action against the cage.
Saki survived before unleashing a combination of his own in return — including one thunderous left hook that absolutely demolished da Silva and sent him crashing to the mat in a heap.
ROUND OF THE YEAR?
Gokhan Saki introduces himself to the MMA world with the Saki Bomb on Henrique Da Silva! https://t.co/nLJIuiKcgO
— FOX Sports: UFC (@UFCONFOX) September 23, 2017
The referee wasted no time to swoop in and stop the fight at 4:45 in the opening round.
“This is my house!” Saki shouted after getting the knockout.
Following the win in his UFC debut, Saki admitted that his conditioning was not up to snuff after a long kickboxing career with three-minute rounds, not to mention a different level of preparation needed to defend against the grappling used in MMA. Still, Saki made quite the introduction as he joins the UFC light heavyweight division with an emphatic knockout in his first fight in the promotion.