clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Gokhan Saki hopes to return in March after suffering meniscus tear

MMA: UFC Fight Night-Saki vs da Silva Susumu Nagao-USA TODAY Sports

Kickboxing legend Gokhan Saki hopes to return to the Octagon in March or April following his recovery from a bucket handle meniscus tear.

The former K-1 and Glory champion had to remove himself from his UFC 219 bout with Khalil Rountree after an injury that first showed up in his Glory days reoccurred after his UFC debut.

Saki explained that he first suffered the knee injury back 2012, but after putting more stress on the knee for mixed martial arts, the injury flared up following his first-round knockout of Henrique da Silva at UFC Fight Night 117.

“This is an old injury that first came about at Glory 1 in Sweden,” Saki told

“Something was wrong about five minutes before the fight. I went to the fight and finished it in one minute, but when I came back to the locker room my knee was swollen.

“I stopped for one week and then I continued training. With kickboxing, I could never really feel it, but in my UFC fight, I could feel something go wrong again when I kicked. Maybe it was the movement and the different footwork.”

After resting the knee for three weeks, Saki went back to grappling training only for the knee to swell up again. Although the bucket handle tear was found after a visit to the hospital, “The Turkish Tyson” told doctors that he still wanted to compete on the injury at UFC 219.

However, after landing in Miami to begin his camp for Rountree, Saki aggravated the injury in his first training session.

“After the fight nothing happened for about three weeks, it was just a little bit swollen again. Then I started training jiu-jitsu again. One day I was just sitting on my knees for about 15 minutes and it got very swollen again so I went to the hospital.

“They took me to an MRI and they found that I had a bucket handle tear in my meniscus. So there’s just a big hole in the middle of my meniscus.

“I told the doctor that I really wanted to fight on Dec. 30th. I told him even with the injury I wanted to fight. He told me to take one or two weeks rest and then to start training again, but not jiu-jitsu or anything that’s too tough on your knees.

“I took the two weeks off and I flew to Miami to do a camp there and in the first training I hurt it more. I threw a kick, I didn’t turn my leg enough and now the tear is even bigger.”

Saki had his meniscus injury repaired five weeks ago, so will look to return to training in three weeks. According to the knockout artist, he wants to return to action in either March or April.

“The day after my first training session in Miami they fixed my meniscus, but after fixing it the rehab takes about eight weeks.

“I’m hoping to fight again in March,” said Saki. “I would love to fight then, in March or April. The recovery going well. Today is five weeks since my meniscus was fixed so in three weeks we can start training again.”

Saki claims he still wants to fight Rountree on his return and thinks he will be better than ever with his knee back to 100 percent.

“I want to fight everybody. Khalil was on the menu, so we need to beat him and then go to the next opponent,” Saki said.

“Next year you’re going to see the best Saki. For so long I have been dealing with this injury and now that it’s fixed I’m going to be able to do a lot more.

“I’m so hungry. I left everything in Europe to come over to the U.S. and fix everything and to get into good shape. 2018 will be a big year for me.”

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the MMA Fighting Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your fighting news from MMA Fighting