Gokhan Saki had a successful UFC debut earlier this year, knocking Henrique da Silva out in the first round at UFC Fight Night 123.
After agreeing to return at UFC 219 and meet Khalil Rountree, though, an old injury flared up that will keep the former K-1 and Glory champion sidelined through the beginning of 2018.
Saki told MMA Fighting that he noticed the injury right before his UFC debut.
“This is an old injury that first came about at Glory 1 in Sweden,” he said. “Something was wrong about five minutes before the fight. I went to the fight and finished in, but when I came back to the locker room, my knee was swollen.”
He attempted to remain in the planned fight with Rountree, taking time off from training in hopes that the injury would heal itself.
“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.
“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 said he is targeting March or April for his return and that the “recovery is going well.”