Khalil Rountree announces UFC contract extension, walks back retirement talk

Khalil Rountree announces UFC contract extension, walks back retirement talk

Khalil Rountree is sticking around.

This past weekend, Rountree announced via Instagram that he has signed a contract extension with the UFC and that he expects to compete again in 2021. This signals a reversal in Rountree’s attitude from December of last year when he announced that his next fight would be his last (Rountree hasn’t fought since making that statement).

“I’m extremely happy to announce that I’ve decided to extend my contract with the UFC and will be making my return at the start of 2021,” Rountree wrote.

View this post on Instagram

I’m extremely happy to announce that I’ve decided to extend my contract with the @ufc and will be making my return at the start of 2021 • After being away from the sport for over one year now it feels like I have the opportunity to start fresh. I’m back in the game 100% like I’ve just begun, ready to put on the most exciting fights you’ve seen from me yet. I’ve had lots of down time to reflect, reinvent and tighten my circle. I’ve taken the time to look at myself from the inside out and I’ve shared with you all the ups and downs publicly. Now it’s time to bite down and fight harder than ever. I’m ready, and you should be too. If you know a company or brand that you’d like to see me repping, please tag them below as I’m looking for sponsors/partners to grow with. #winningticket @mickmaynard2

A post shared by Khalil Rountree Jr. (@khalilrountree) on Oct 30, 2020 at 6:47am PDT

Rountree, 30, was the light heavyweight runner-up on season 23 of The Ultimate Fighter and he started off 0-2 with the UFC before scoring wins in three of his next four outings (including a loss to Michal Oleksiejczuk that was later changed to a no contest when Oleksiejczuk tested positive for a banned substance). He fought twice in 2019, winning a lopsided unanimous decision over Eryk Anders and then losing by first-round TKO to Ion Cutelaba in September.

His UFC record stands at 4-4 (1 NC), while his overall pro record is 8-4 (1 NC). Three of Rountree’s UFC victories have come by way of first-round knockout.

In Rountree’s statement, he explained that the break from competition helped him to recharge.

“After being away from the sport for over one year now it feels like I have the opportunity to start fresh,” Rountree wrote. “I’m back in the game 100 percent like I’ve just begun, ready to put on the most exciting fights you’ve seen from me yet.

“I’ve had lots of down time to reflect, reinvent and tighten my circle. I’ve taken the time to look at myself from the inside out and I’ve shared with you all the ups and downs publicly. Now it’s time to bite down and fight harder than ever. I’m ready, and you should be too.”

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