Following his devastating finish of Anthony Smith, UFC light heavyweight contender Khalil Rountree Jr. has called out Alex Pereira. According to Rountree Jr., this is the next thing that he is looking out for. And if the American is to be believed, fans also want to see this fight happening.
Originally scheduled to take on Azamat Murzakanov, ‘The War Horse’ entered his last fight as a -200 favorite. And the Vegas native proved the matchmakers right after he finished ‘Lionheart.’ This was Rountree’s seventh knockout in the promotion, the third most in the history of the 205 lb division. And it looks like the Las Vegas Native wants the champ next.
Khalil Rountree Jr. Issues a Challenge for Alex Pereira
At the co-main event of UFC Fight Night 233, Khalil Rountree Jr. finished Anthony Smith via knockout. The fighter looked comfortable going for the big shots, one of which landed clean on Smith in the third round of their clash. Immediately after this triumph, the light heavyweight took his time during the post-fight interview to call out champion Alex Pereira.
Talking to Paul Felder, Rountree said: “I’m in the Top 10 now, and the only thing that I want to do is fight Alex Pereira.” However, the fighter addressed that he might not have done it for a shot at the UFC gold. But in order to get his wish granted, he is ready to take more fights to finally clash for the title. In his own words: “I know that I have other people that I have to possibly fight, but I know that’s a fight the fans would want to see.”
The Southpaw further reasoned his callout of the Brazilian during the post-fight press conference. “Two dynamic strikers, powerful strikers. I don’t plan to shoot any takedowns. I don’t think I’ve ever shot for a takedown in my career. I don’t think he is necessarily going to shoot for any takedowns because the guy’s a warrior,” said Rountree.
Is the Win Enough for a Possible Shot at the UFC Gold?
With this win under his belt, Khalil Rountree Jr. is currently riding a 5-fight win streak. This includes wins over the likes of Chris Daukaus, Dustin Jacoby, Karl Roberson, and now Anthony Smith. While many of his previous opponents weren’t in the top 10, Smith is currently ranked eighth in the official rankings. Achieving these feats in a competitive division like Light heavyweight is not an easy thing to do. But is this enough for securing a championship fight?
If the speculations are true, current champion, Alex Pereira, might be looking to face his arch-nemesis Israel Adesanya next. The Brazilian has already defeated the two former champions, Jiri Procházka and Jan Blachowicz, and wants to settle the score with the former middleweight champion. In the division, however, there are many fighters who are looking for a shot at the title. This includes Magomed Ankalaev and Johnny Walker, the two men whose last encounter ended in controversy.
Then, there is the former champion, Jamahal Hill, who never really lost his belt. Aleksandar Rakić, a man who, despite his absence from the promotion, is ranked ahead of Rountree, might also be in the picture soon. All of this suggests that ‘The War Horse,’ despite all his feats, may have to wait a little longer for a possible title fight. But what do you think about this? Has Khalil Rountree Jr. done enough for a title shot? Let us know in the comments!
Featured image credits to Embed from Getty Images