Las Vegas, NV — Khalil Rountree Jr. gave a message of hope on Saturday to anyone who felt like him before he started fighting.
Rountree (10-5-1) picked up a second-round win at UFC Vegas 50 by violently finishing Karl Roberson with a body kick followed by punches. The Ultimate Fighter season 23 finalist would be awarded a Performance of the Night bonus later in the night.
Rountree is now on a two-fight win streak, and while his finish was extremely memorable simply for being so violent, it was his words after the fight that really hit home.
“I don’t want to wait until I’m a champion to tell my story and where I come from being a 300-pound kid on the brink of suicide burdened by depression, not knowing what to do with my life, not knowing where to go,” Khalil Rountree said. “I just want to be able to share that, and really inspire the millions of people out there who feel just like I do, who don’t have a dream and don’t know what they’re doing, that just need something. I want to be able to share my story with these types of people because maybe there’s some lives that I can change. So when I come in here, man, that’s my focus.”
It was a moving speech that Rountree gave, but he wasn’t done. In his post-fight interview with the media, including Cageside Press, he said he had bigger plans to help the world. He also said he hopes the UFC gives fighters that lose their fight a chance to talk after their bout.
Rountree has talked openly about growing overweight and that after watching The Ultimate Fighter, he decided to change his life.
When asked what he would say to the next Khalil that is overweight like he was before he started training, he gave hope.
“It might sound a bit cliche, or we’ve heard this before, but your life matters,” Rountree told Cageside Press. “Your life matters. You can be special. You can be strong. You can be seen; You can be heard. Life is beautiful if you make it that way; it doesn’t have to be how everybody else makes it seem. Stick around. Stick around another day. I would have a lot of a lot of things like that to say, man.”
— Alex Behunin (@AlexBehunin) March 13, 2022
Watch the rest of Khalil Rountree’s UFC Vegas 50 post-fight interview above.