Despite boos after standing over KO’d opponent, Khalil Rountree says Scottish fans got their wish

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GLASGOW – Khalil Rountree didn’t win over many fans in the immediate aftermath of his violent knockout victory on Sunday at UFC Fight Night 113. Earlier in the week, though, was a different story, he said.

Rountree (6-2 MMA, 2-2 UFC) shut down Scotland’s own Paul Craig (9-2 MMA, 1-2 UFC) in their FS1-televised light-heavyweight bout at SSE Hydro in Glasgow. Rountree, a finalist on “The Ultimate Fighter 23,” posted his second straight knockout victory. It was another vicious one, and Rountree elicited some boos as he coldly stared and stood over a seemingly unconscious Craig with the first-round punches.

Rountree also got some backlash on social media, but the 27-year-old light heavyweight said he was actually warmly welcomed in Glasgow on fight week.

“They were really supportive fans,” he said after his win. “I’ve had a lot of support from the Glasgow people, which was surprising for me. Most of them wanted me to knock out Paul Craig in the first round. So, Glasgow – there you go.”

Of course, Rountree had a little reason to rub in the victory; two days before the event, Craig proudly declared Rountree would be unable to knock him out.

However, Rountree did so – and rather emphatically.

“I just remember guerrilla ground and pounding his face into the canvas,” he said. “That was the highlight of my night.”

Still, he was clearly in enemy territory on fight night, though he blocked out the jeers.

“I did a really good job of not letting it affect me emotionally,” he said. “I was just keeping my eye on the prize.”

As for what’s next? Rountree just wants the best opponents he can get. After losing his first two UFC fights (to Andrew Sanchez and Tyson Pedro), he’s got back-to-back wins over Daniel Jolly and Craig.

“I don’t want to be a fighter for really long,” he said. “I don’t want to be one of these old guys fighting for checks, just to stay alive. So I want to fight the hardest guys. Give me a guy at the top. I’ll take his spot and hold it down. … Every fight is nerve-wracking. Every fight is nervous. Every opponent is tough. That’s why we’re in the UFC, so I think I’d like to take a shot at a big guy and hold down a spot at the top up there.”

But after his Glasgow win, his immediate plans were a bit more simple: go back to the hotel, order room service and watch “Family Guy” with his team.

And also, “I’m going to go get a Scottish flag and take it home as an accomplishment,” he said.

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 113, check out the UFC Events section of the site.


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