Saturday, November 27, 2021

Bukauskas & Rountree Both Discuss Controversial UFC Vegas 36 Bout

Modestas Bukauskas and Khalil Rountree Jr. have both discussed their recent bout, which ended with a nasty injury for the Lithuanian-British light heavyweight.

The pair collided on the UFC Vegas 36 main card this past weekend. After dominating on the feet throughout, and even breaking Bukauskas’ nose, Rountree ended the fight halfway through the second round.

But the way in which the fight was won has caused debate throughout the MMA community. Rountree secured the victory using an oblique kick, a move that some fans and pundits believe should be banned. The latest use of it, which has likely left Bukauskas with significant ligament damage, has only fueled discussion surrounding the kick.

The move has affected a host of fighters in the UFC. Quinton “Rampage” Jackson said that his knee was permanently damaged when Jon Jones utilized it in their fight at UFC 135. And more recently, Darren Till, who was also in action at UFC Vegas 36, underwent surgery after receiving an oblique kick from Robert Whittaker last year.

While the likes of Belal Muhammad, Jamahal Hill, and Vinc Pichel called for the move to be banned following Saturday’s incident, Bukauskas doesn’t see anything wrong with the technique. That’s despite being set for a long spell on the sidelines as a result of it.

The 27-year-old took to social media to defend Rountree. He said the fault for the injury lies at his own inability to defend against the kick.

“Getting MRI when I get home … probably ligament damage … . And yo please give my opponent some slack, that kick was all good, it was my job to defend and I didn’t. Let the man enjoy his victory.” Wrote Bukauskas.

In a similar vein, many have pointed out that in a sport where the goal is to hurt, knock out, or force your opponent to submit, the potential damage from an oblique kick sits in line with the other weapons in a fighter’s arsenal.

During his post-fight interview, Khalil Rountree discussed his victory and the fight ending sequence. According to “The War Horse,” he was ready for whatever the fight threw at him.

“What you guys saw tonight was I was ready for everything, didn’t care what it was, didn’t care if I was getting choked out, whatever. I was ready for everything tonight.”

In terms of the brutal end to the clash, Rountree suggested that he’d simply been pushing the action by going first, and when he saw the opportunity to exploit an area of Bukauskas’ game, he took it. Addressing the fact his opponent was left with a serious injury and a trip to hospital, the 31-year-old said it could quite as easily have happened to him.

“If it’s not him then it’s me. If I don’t go first, then he’s gonna go first. And I can’t take any chances in there with guys in the UFC. Doesn’t matter who it is, if they’re in the UFC, that means they’re a great fighter. That means they’ve got some power, especially at my weight class. So why not be first? Why not be there and ready for everything? This is my life. It’s not just fighting. Just like right now, he’s about to go to the hospital. Same thing could’ve happened to me. But I was ready. I saw it. So it’s like, be first.”

Where do you sit on the oblique kick debate? Should the move be banned?

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