October 19, 1983 |
|Other names||The Rebel|
|Height||1.82 m (6 ft 0 in)|
|Weight||102.7 kg (226 lb; 16 st 2 lb)|
|Reach||73 in (190 cm)|
|Style||Kickboxing, Muay Thai|
|Fighting out of||Amsterdam, Netherlands|
|Team||Mike's Gym (2012-present)
Golden Glory (2001–2012)
Club Fit (1993–2001)
|Years active||2000 – present|
|Mixed martial arts record from Sherdog|
Gökhan Saki (born October 19, 1983 in Schiedam, Netherlands) is a Dutch-Turkish  heavyweight kickboxer from the Netherlands, fighting out of Mike's Gym in Amsterdam, Netherlands. He is two time Dutch and European Muay Thai champion, K-1 World GP 2006 in Amsterdam tournament finalist and K-1 World Grand Prix 2008 in Hawaii champion as the first ever Turkish fighter holding a K-1 tournament title. As of January 2013, Saki is ranked the #3 heavyweight in the world by LiverKick.com.
Biography and career
Early life and career
Saki was born and raised in Schiedam, a town located in the Netherlands, to a large family. He started practicing kickboxing at the age of 11 when he also began playing football (soccer). He dropped out of school at the age of 14 for a reason related to his family, and quit playing soccer at the age of 16 because of his preference for kickboxing.
His initial trainer was Jan Pasztjerik, under whom he became Dutch, European and World Muay Thai champion within three years, before moving to the Golden Glory gym in 2003. In 2006, he returned to Pasztjerik as he embarked on a joint production with Golden Glory and Pasztjerik. Training at Golden Glory with Cor Hemmers, Saki became a well-known fighter as he took wins over André Tete, Vitali Akhramenko and Henriques Zowa, while also facing well-established fighters such as Badr Hari and Nicholas Pettas. Despite his success under Hemmers, Saki considers Pasztjerik as the main influence who helped him develop to the fighter he would become.
Saki made his K-1 debut at the K-1 World Grand Prix 2006 in Amsterdam on May 13, 2006 where he defeated Alexey Ignashov in the quarter-finals and Rani Berbachi in the semis, before losing to Bjorn Bregy by first round knockout in tournament finals.
Saki returned to K-1 in March the following year, taking on Hiromi Amada at the K-1 World Grand Prix 2007 in Yokohama and winning via technical knockout by using Dutch-style low kicks. On June 23, 2007, he defeated Mourad Bouzidi at the K-1 World Grand Prix 2007 in Amsterdam by unanimous decision.
On February 16, 2008, Saki won the World Full Contact Association (WFCA) World Thaiboxing Super Heavyweight (+95 kg) Championship by defeating Englishman Chris Knowles via TKO (left low kick) in his hometown of Schiedam. Following this, his next significant bout came in a super fight at the K-1 World Grand Prix 2008 in Amsterdam on April 26 where he knocked out Paul Slowinski with a left cross in the first round.
Following these impressive victories, he was invited to take part in the sixteen-man tournament at the K-1 World Grand Prix 2008 in Hawaii on August 9. Saki was able to win the tournament in devastating fashion by knocking out all three of his opponents, Deutsch Pu'u, Rick Cheek and Randy Kim. This victory earned Saki a place in the 2008 K-1 World Grand Prix final sixteen, and also marked the first time a Turkish fighter had won a K-1 Grand Prix.
Later that year at the K-1 World Grand Prix 2008 in Seoul Final 16 on September 27, he was drawn against legendary New Zealander Ray Sefo. After three rounds, the judges had scored the fight a decision draw so it went to an extra round to determine the winner, after which Saki was announced the victor by unanimous decision. Advancing to the final eight at the K-1 World Grand Prix 2008 Final on December 6, Saki defeated Ruslan Karaev in the quarter-finals before being knocked out by the eventual champion, Remy Bonjasky, in the semis by a jumping kick to the rib cage.
Gökhan Saki began 2009 with a defence of his WFCA World Thaiboxing Super Heavyweight Championship, finishing Germany's Arndt Bunk witha body shot in round 1 on February 28.
A month later, he took part in the K-1 World Grand Prix 2009 in Yokohama, an eight-man tournament to determine the inaugrle K-1 Heavyweight (−100kg) Champion. In the semi-finals, his fight with Tyrone Spong went into an extra round where he was able to win via knockout. In the final, he faced Keijiro Maeda in a bout which also went into an extra round. However, he lost via majority decision this time.
He returned against Pavel Zhuravlev on August 2 in a super fight at the K-1 World Grand Prix 2009 in Seoul. He lost the fight via unanimous decision and also injured his knee in the fight, which meant that he could not participate in the World Grand Prix last sixteen.
He was still able to take part in a reserve fight at the K-1 World Grand Prix 2009 Final, however, where he faced the legendary Dutchman Peter Aerts. He was defeated via unanimous decision, meaning that he had now lost three fights in a row.
In early 2010, Saki was able to bounce back by taking two wins in January and February, including a defence of his WFCA Muay Thai title against Utley Meriana, before rejoining the K-1 circuit in April. He took a decision victory over Singh Jaideep at the K-1 World Grand Prix 2010 in Yokohama before taking on Melvin Manhoef in a highly anticipated bout at It's Showtime 2010 Amsterdam on May 29. Saki won via TKO in the second round after the referee stopped the fight due to Manhoef being knocked down three times.
Having made a full recovery from his injuries and poor form, Saki was invited to the K-1 World Grand Prix 2010 in Seoul Final 16 on October 2 where he knocked out Frenchman Freddy Kemayo in the first round. 
Following this, he entered the United Glory 2010/11 World Series at United Glory 12 fourteen days later where he KO'd Russian Nikolaj Falin in Amsterdam, Netherlands.
Saki then returned to Japan for the K-1 World Grand Prix 2010 Final on December 11. He faced Daniel Ghiţă in the quarter-finals and won by unanimous decision after four rounds. However, he broke his right hand during the fight and went on to battle Golden Glory team mate Alistair Overeem in the semis. Using only his left hand and his kicks, he managed to outpoint his larger opponent; knocking Overeem down with a spin kick that was not counted, although Alistair landed a heavy left kick to Saki's right elbow that was also broken in his quarter-final fight. The fight was stopped in the first round as Saki could not continue however he gained huge respect for his heart and courage.
After recuperating from the injuries he sustained in the K-1 Grand Prix, Saki returned to the United Glory World Series in March 2011 where he took a decision victory over Wendell Roche in the semis at United Glory 13.
He then went on to win the World Series at [United Glory 14: 2010–2011 World Series Finals on May 28 in Moscow, Russia where he defeated Brice Guidon by decision.
On January 28, 2012, Saki faced Badr Hari at It's Showtime 2012 in Leeuwarden in what was to be Hari's last kickboxing match before moving into boxing. Hari defeated Saki with ease, scoring three knockdowns in the first round before the referee stopped the fight, earning him a TKO victory. He dropped him with a right uppercut first, the second knockdown came by a right hook. Finally, he landed a right uppercut again which dropped Saki for the third time.
When Saki's trainer, Cor Hemmers, took up a position working in the Glory promotion and was unable to spend as much time in the gym as before, Saki moved to Mike's Gym to train under Mike Passenier.
Saki ended the year by competing in the sixteen-man 2012 Glory Heavyweight Grand Slam at Glory 4: Tokyo - 2012 Heavyweight Grand Slam in Saitama, Japan on December 31, 2012. Saki defeated Raoumaru with ease at the opening stage, flooring the out-matched Korean twice in round one and forcing the referee to stop the bout. Then, in the quarter-finals, he knocked out Anderson "Braddock" Silva with his patented left hook in the closing seconds of round one. Advancing to the semis, Saki was eliminated by the eventual tournament winner, Semmy Schilt. Dwarfed by eleven inches and outweighed by twenty seven kilograms, Saki's high work rate was not enough to outpoint Schilt and he lost on points after the judges awarded the giant Dutchman the first two rounds.
Saki rematched Daniel Ghiţă at Glory 6: Istanbul in Istanbul, Turkey on April 6, 2013 in a #1 contender's bout for the Glory Heavyweight Championship held by Semmy Schilt. The fight started out a little rough, as Saki caught a kick from the Romanian. He then backed Ghiţă up and threw him to the mat with a sweep. Ghiţă landed hard, looking to have suffered an arm injury. According to Glory's official rules, leg sweeps and trips are illegal moves and should thusly be counted as such. Instead, referee Joop Ubeda counted it as a down as Ghiţă took a while to get to his feet. Even though injured, round two saw again Ghiţă being more consistent but midway through the round, the Turk began landing heavy punches on him and simply did not let up, dropping durable Romanian three times to take a win via TKO after the referee stepped in, calling the fight.
In the semi-finals of Glory 11: Chicago - Heavyweight World Championship Tournament in Hoffman Estates, Illinois, United States in October 2013, Saki gave a lackluster performance and was on the receiving end of a controversial knockdown in round one as he lost a majority decision to eventual tournament champion Rico Verhoeven. On November 2, 2013, Saki released a statement declaring that he was looking into taking legal action against Glory over the decision.
Saki holds dual Dutch and Turkish nationality, as his parents are immigrants from Turkey. He has stated that he respects Ramon Dekkers, and referred to Fedor Emelianenko as his favorite fighter.
- 2010–2011 United Glory World Series heavyweight tournament champion
- 2010 K-1 World Grand Prix Final 3rd place
- 2009 K-1 Heavyweight (−100 kg) tournament runner up
- 2008 K-1 World Grand Prix Final 3rd place
- 2008 K-1 World GP in Hawaii champion
- 2008 WFCA World Thaiboxing Super Heavyweight (+95 kg) title
- 2006 K-1 World Grand Prix in Amsterdam runner up
- 2003 World Muay Thai champion
- 2002 European Muay Thai champion
- 2001 Dutch Muay Thai champion
79 Wins (56 (T)KOs, 23 decisions), 16 Losses, 1 No contest
Legend: Win Loss Draw/No contest Notes
0 Wins, 1 Loss
Legend: Win Loss Draw/No contest Notes
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Gökhan Saki.|
- Profile of Gokhan Saki, K-1
- "K1 topper Gökhan The rebel Saki te gast in FunXtra!", April 3, 2009, FunX Radio (Dutch)
- LiverKick.com Heavyweight Rankings: January 2013
- K-1's official interview, September 16, 2008, K-1 (Japanese)
- "Interview with Gokhan Saki". Kickbox.nl. Retrieved 2008-08-11.
- "K-1 official site | Freddy Kemayo fighter's profile"". K-1. Retrieved 2010-11-14.
- "K-1 official site | Gokhan Saki fighter's profile"". K-1. Retrieved 2010-11-14.
- "K-1 official site | Final 16 – A Changing of the Guard"". K-1. Retrieved 2010-11-14.
- "K-1 official site | K-1 World Grand Prix: The Stage is Set"". K-1. Retrieved 2010-11-14.
- "K-1 WGP 2010: A Monster Crowned" by Stuart Tonkin, December 11, 2010, K-1
- Walsh, Dave. (2012-01-28) Badr Hari drops Gökhan Saki three times in an impressive performance at It's Showtime 55. Liverkick.com. Retrieved on 2012-06-03.
- Badr Hari Retires, Daniel Ghita the Man to Beat at Heavyweight. Liverkick.com. Retrieved on 2012-06-03.
- LiverKick Talks With Glory's Gokhan Saki
- Glory 2: Brussels final fight card for this Saturday
- Glory 2: Brussels live results
- GLORY 4 Tokyo Grand Slam Tournament Match-Ups Set
- DREAM 18 / GLORY 4 Tokyo Live Results
- Semmy Schilt Wins Over Daniel Ghita to Claim GLORY Grand Slam Crown
- Gokhan Saki vs. Daniel Ghita II at GLORY 6 in Istanbul
- Glory 6 Istanbul Ghita vs. Saki results, discussion, live stream, and full fight coverage
- GLORY 6 Istanbul: Daniel Ghita vs. Gokhan Saki, Live Results
- Gokhan Saki Levels Daniel Ghita, Moves on to Fight Sem Schilt
- 4 Man Tournament with Daniel Ghita and Gohkan Saki Set for GLORY 11
- GLORY 11 Main Event Confirmed as Corbett vs. Spong
- Tyrone Spong vs. Nathan Corbett and more confirmed for Glory 11 in Chicago
- GLORY 11 Chicago Live Results and Discussion
- Glory 11 Results and Recap
- Gokhan Saki Threatening Legal Protest Over Verhoeven Loss
- "Exclusive Interview : Gökhan Saki", August 1, 2009, Yahoo! Korea (Korean)
- Brunner Tihamér – Ghokan. YouTube. Retrieved on 2012-06-03.