Michał Oleksiejczuk made the most of his promotional debut at UFC 219 on Saturday.
At UFC 219, Khalil Rountree had expected to face kickboxing legend Gokhan Saki. Then, the injury bug struck once more. As a result, Poland’s Michał Oleksiejczuk stepped in to face the TUF veteran. The bout was the featured prelim on the televised portion of UFC 219 Saturday in Las Vegas at the T-Mobile Arena.
Michał Oleksiejczuk was making his UFC debut in the fight, while Khalil Rountree Jr. entered on a two-fight win streak in the promotion. Rountree came out swinging to start this light heavyweight battle. He attacked the legs early with some heavy kicks. Every punch from Khalil Rountree was thrown with bad intentions. Michał Oleksiejczuk answered back with some heavy, wide shots of his own. With roughly a minute and a half gone from the round, he’d work for a single leg takedown, finishing it. Rountree would defend with a guillotine but only had control with one arm. Scooting back to the fence, he’d make it back to the feet. Along the fence, he’d lock in a guillotine as Oleksiejczuk twisted and thrashed, looking to break free. He did, only to eat a number of strikes by Rountree.
Rountree, however, was taking some deep breaths and was in danger of punching himself out. He’d slowed to the point of being almost stationary. The pair traded, and Oleksiejczuk was bloodied. He began letting his hands flying, going to both the head and body. Rountree answered back with a left, then a right that was nowhere near the mark. Oleksiejczuk began working in kicks to the body. A knee from the clinch and an upper cut followed by Oleksiejczuk, who took momentum back towards the end of the round.
In the second, Oleksiejczuk pressed forward, but Rountree was still displaying considerable power. Oleksiejczuk was not afraid to stand and bang, mind you. Rountree tried for a spinning back fist, but couldn’t hit the mark. Oleksiejczuk was smartly working the body as well as the head. His uppercuts were also making a difference, as were a handful of leg kicks.
Round three had a big question mark over it, given how tired Rountree appeared to be. However, the pair exchanged a big flurry of punches early. Oleksiejczuk then wisely grabbed a leg, and scored his second takedown of the fight. Rountree had little to offer off his back, and may have been too spent to make it back up. Oleksiejczuk controlled him on the canvas, despite mounting little offense while in top position. It went to the final bell, with Michał Oleksiejczuk getting the nod in his debut.
Michał Oleksiejczuk def. Khalil Rountree by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)