Las Vegas, NV – UFC light heavyweight Khalil Rountree Jr really wanted to fight a top 15 205er, but had to settle for fighting a ranked heavyweight in Chris Daukaus at UFC Vegas 78 on Saturday night.
“I had just gotten into the rankings and I was preparing for someone within the top 15, and that’s what I was asking for. Some of the guys were injured. Some of the guys were already booked. I guess my only option was to sit the bench until someone opened up if that’s what I wanted,” Rountree told reporters including Cageside Press on Thursday.
“Not too long after, Daukaus came up, and I took a little bit of time to contemplate it. It was, in a way, completely opposite of what I was asking for.”
Rountree thought about it, and it seems that it was either wait for a ranked 205er or take on Daukaus moving down to light heavyweight, but holding a ranking at heavyweight.
“If you’re looking for somebody ranked there you go. You got it. It wasn’t an easy decision. I’m here to fight the best. I want to, and believe, that I can be a contender. Now it’s just a matter of handling the challenges in front of me,” he said.
When it comes to the top of a division it really doesn’t matter what the name is, but what number is next to their name.
“There’s never really a name. I think everybody is pretty familiar with the names that are in the top 15. For me it wasn’t necessarily a name thing. I was more looking for the opportunity to fight someone who’s number was higher than mine,” Rountree told reporters including Cageside Press on Thursday.
“I would have been ok with anybody. Anybody who had a higher number.”
Watch the entire media day scrum with Khalil Rountree Jr above. He takes on Chris Daukaus at UFC Vegas 78 on Saturday night.