Rumours have been rife recently that former GLORY Kickboxing champion Gökhan Saki is on the verge of joining the UFC to embark on a career in MMA.
Over this weekend at GLORY 41, Saki’s old coach and founder of the legendary Golden Glory gym, Cor Hemmers; who is also GLORY’s Head of Talent Operations, responded to claims about Saki’s future.
There were hopes of a much-anticipated rematch between Saki and GLORY heavyweight champion Rico Verhoeven; who defended his title against Ismael Lazaar at GLORY 41 Den Bosch, however, Hemmers seemed to squash any hope of that.
“No. He calls me often because I’m his old trainer of course and he discussed with me, Cor, I think I want to go into MMA,” Hemmers said. “A lot of people maybe can be surprised but I can tell you, in the time we were all training together we were training in my team that time was with: Alistair Overeem, Chalid Arrab, Murat Chunkaiev, Stefan Leko who tried to do MMA but it was not but also Saki by that time was training MMA and he was one of the guys who had some feeling for that. Control on the ground, he can make his takedown defence that was already there. We never took the chance to do it, we did it with Stefan Leko but it was not the situation.
“Saki is more talented on the ground game than Stefan Leko was. Stefan had a big contract in PRIDE and in DREAM but he voluntarily retired from MMA because he said, Cor, I made two fights, I made a lot of money but its bad for my career, it’s not my thing. But I think Saki there are some possibilities. So, yeah, it’s a different story. He send me some videos already that he’s training old team members like Bob Hund, Denis Stojnić, Alistair was there you know, Chalid Arrab. They call me, show me some videos and it was fun for me to see but I think don’t underestimate the skills of Saki in MMA.”
It wasn’t so long ago that Rico Verhoeven was strongly rumoured to be joining the UFC, only for such talks to halt since the WME-IMG takeover, allegedly. However, from Saki’s recent social media behaviour, it’s expected that it won’t be too long until he makes an official announcement on his future.