Gokhan Saki will face Saparbek Safarov at UFC London this March, with both men in dire need of a win.
Famed kickboxer Gokhan Saki will continue his MMA pursuits in London this March. Thursday, UFC officials announced that Saki will face Saparbek Safarov at the upcoming UFC London card. Otherwise known as UFC Fight Night 147, the event also features light heavyweight action between Volkan Oezdemir and Dominick Reyes.
— UFC Europe (@UFCEurope) January 3, 2019
Saki currently boasts a record of 1-2 in MMA, and is 1-1 in the UFC to date. He won his debut against Henrique da Silva via a knockout punch in September 2017 in Japan, but was knocked out himself by Khalil Rountree Jr at UFC 226 this past July. That bout had originally been expected to take place at UFC 219 the previous December, but was pushed back due to a Saki injury.
Saki will now look to bounce back against Safarov (8-2), who has lost both of his UFC contests thus far after entering the promotion with a perfect 8-0 record. Stopped via punches by Gian Villante at UFC Albany in his promotional debut, Safarov was most recently submitted by Tyson Pedro at UFC 221.
The end result is that this is a must-win fight for Safarov. Gokhan Saki may have a little more wiggle room, given the high profile he carried in the kickboxing world. Yet with his lack of MMA experience, he needs to start racking up the wins ASAP.
UFC London (UFC Fight Night 147 / UFC on ESPN+ 5) takes place March 16 at the O2 Arena in London, England.