Khalil Rountree Jr. was gunning for a knockout but obliterated his opponent’s leg instead to earn the TKO finish at UFC Vegas 36.
After a blistering start that saw Rountree land several heavy punches to the head, he decided to throw an oblique kick to the leg midway through the second round just as Modestas Bukauskas was attempting a jab of his own. As soon as Rountree’s foot dug into the thigh, Bukauskas’ leg buckled under him and he fell to the ground in agonizing pain as referee Herb Dean rushed into stop the fight.
The official stoppage came at 2:30 into round 2.
“My mindset today was just win,” Rountree said afterwards. “Win the fight. I’m dealing with my fear head on. I just came in here ready to get the job done. I just knew that I had to come in here and get the job done.”
As soon as the fight got started, Rountree was head hunting with knockout power behind every single one of his punches. Rountree hammered Bukauskas with a couple of hard shots early that looked like the fight might not even make it out of the first minute of the first round.
To his credit, Bukauskas did a good job circling away and not allowing Rountree to follow up on any of his biggest punches, but he also didn’t offer much in the way of his own offense. By the time Bukauskas went to the corner at the end of the round, his nose was absolutely mangled but he still wasn’t going away.
While Rountree was still the aggressor, his output slowed slightly, but he was still stalking Bukauskas around the cage while setting up his combinations.
As soon as he saw Bukauskas attempting to throw the jab to back him off, Rountree countered with the kick to the leg that led to the TKO finish.
According to UFC color commentator Michael Bisping, the UFC’s physician Dr. Jeffrey Davidson said that he believes Bukauskas may have torn multiple ligaments in his knee as a result of that single kick to his leg.
“I did study that [kick],” Rountree revealed. “I did know that was something that I wanted to do when the opportunity came.”
Always known for his devastating knockout power, Rountree showed patience and power in his latest performance as he got back in the win column following two losses in a row.