If you ask Dustin Jacoby, Khalil Rountree has a major flaw.
The main event of UFC Fight Night 213 takes place this Saturday at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas, with Jacoby (18-5-1 MMA, 6-2-1 UFC) facing off against Rountree (10-5 MMA, 6-5 UFC). You can watch the fight on ESPN+.
Jacoby is currently having his finest octagon run and is undefeated since his comeback to the UFC after a long hiatus spent in kickboxing. After knocking out Modestas Bukauskas and Karl Roberson in consecutive fights, Rountree is also probably in fine form. However, according to Jacoby, Rountree’s professional instability is evidence of his lack of strength.
“I was licking my chops,” Jacoby said.
“I had to throw him under the bus a little bit. He turned me down in March when I fought at UFC 272. He said no, and that’s a little feather in my cap. They came back and we were asking for a high-ranked opponent and they were all booked up. They were like, ‘Well, what about Rountree?’ I was like, ‘Yeah, of course, if he wants to.’
“He said yes this time, so I was super excited, super confident. It’s funny because I’ve got guys at the gym and people that talk about Khalil Rountree like, ‘Man, that guy is a killer.’ It’s the proving business and I can’t wait to go out and prove that he’s not a killer. He can be – I’ve got respect. I’m not talking smack at all. But I think he’s too up and down. He can look like a killer, and physically he’s a killer. But mentally is where it matters most. I think mentally, that’s where he’s the weakest.”
“Khalil is so up and down,” Jacoby said. “If he’s the down Rountree, it’s not going to go long at all. If he’s the up Rountree, it’s going to be a great fight – and I still think it’s going to be a good fight. But I keep saying it: It’s the proving business, and I’m going to get an opportunity to go out there and prove that I’m the better fighter.”
David Green, an Ohio-based sports reporter, brings his deep expertise in martial arts and riveting storytelling to Boxing.org. His compelling narratives and insightful analysis make him a valuable member of our team, delivering top-quality content to boxing enthusiasts.