Gokhan Saki said he wanted to keep fighting under MMA rules, but his body did not allow him.
He sustained many injuries during the fights and preparation camps. He is a long-time kickboxer and has been training in wrestling on a high level, but it turned out to be fatal for the Turkish legend.
“After the first fight, I got too many injuries,” Saki said. “My body was just not used to this,” he said.
“Then I talked with [UFC matchmaker] Mick [Maynard] that I’m not going to make it any more. I was at the point I was scared to go to a wrestling training that I was going to get injured again. So mentally, I was finished.
Saki only fought twice in the UFC where he won once by KO/TKO and loss once by KO/TKO.
He last fought in July 2018 against Khalil Rountree Jr. and he was TKO’d over one and half minutes into the first round.
“I talked to Mick and told him the situation, and he understood, and the door was open to go to kickboxing.”
Saki said it was difficult for him because he got “so many opportunities” and he felt he needed to give back, but he said he couldn’t.
There was no other option for him.
Saki will fight with James McSweeney at the co-main event of Glory Kickboxing 79: Collision 3. He mentioned that he feels fantastic, strong and is ready to go and earn another title.
“I was like, f— it, I’ve been training for a couple of months, my weight is back to the old school, bn [231 and 238 pounds], and I feel strong again,” he said.
“I was like, why not? Sometimes, these kinds of fights are better than the fights you train three or four months for. I need to make my comeback, so this is the moment. Let’s do it.”
Here’s the rest of the card for Glory Kickboxing 79:
- Rico Verhoeven vs. Jamal Ben Saddik – 265 lbs
- Gökhan Saki vs. James McSweeney – 265 lbs
- Mohamed Mezouari vs. Maximo Suarez – 170 lbs
- Donegi Abena vs. Sergej Maslobojev – 209 lbs
- Benjamin Adegbuyi vs. Antonio Plazibat – 265 lbs
- Michael Duut vs. John King – 209 lbs
- Alim Nabiev vs. Troy Jones – 170 lbs
- Serhiy Adamchuk vs. Aleksei Ulianov – 143 lbs
- Matt Baker vs. Serkan Ozcaglayan – 265 lbs
- S. Koprivlenski vs. Bruno Gazani – 154 lbs