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2015 Bloody Elbow MMA Scouting Report #3 Middleweight: Khalil Rountree

The Middleweight report enters the Top 3 and it features some fighters who could very possibly be special talents.

The Bloody Elbow Scouting Report is ready to dive into the top 3 Middleweight prospects. We apologize for the delay, the Top 3 fighters are actually quite talented and it took a bit for Zane and I to settle on a ranking we liked. These last three fighters are pretty outstanding and exciting talents. All three are in the first year or so of their career and all three could be fast risers through the division. Middleweight was notable for a while for its lack of young talent, but a good deep dig into the division has really turned up some gems and these three are the best of the bunch.

Scroll on down to the table for links to every scouting report we've published or tune into the MMA Prospectus show on Fridays live on Google Hangouts or check out the posts of Bloody Elbow on Saturdays. For details on what makes a fighter a prospect and how Zane and I grade out prospects check out the Methodology post.

#3 - Khalil Rountree

Record: 2-0 Height: 6'1" Age: 25 Years Pro: 1

Country: U.S.A. Team: Wand Fight Team/Black House Base: MMA

Khalil Rountree has been involved in martial arts only a few years at this point, he joined the Wand Fight Team gym at 20 years old in an effort to lose weight. Nearly 300-lbs at the time, Rountree is now a large and hulking Middleweight. After a year of training, Rountree embarked on an amateur career and from 2011 through 2013 he went 6-0. In June of 2014 Rontree turned pro and debuted in the Resurrection Fighting Alliance, and has won 2 fights in that promotion. He is set for his third fight in the RFA on April 10th. MMA fans might know Rountree as the fighter who was rumored to have knocked out Anderson Silva during his training camp for the Nick Diaz fight.

Strengths

T.P. Grant: Because of how young Rountree is in his combat sports career and how much weight he is losing from year to year, he makes huge leaps in each fight. A few things are clear, Rountree is quite possibly a freak athlete and he packs huge power. Rountree very much prefers striking on the outside, and seems to emulate Anderson Silva and Lyoto Machida in his movement based and counter striking approach. However once Rountree smells blood he pushes forward behind diverse punch/kick combinations. Rountree has the athletic ability to be a really special fighter.

Zane Simon: Rountree is a real power puncher, in the best sense of the term. He's got that kind of blasting power in his hands that often seems to miss out on actually getting connected to real technical fighters. For the most part, when a fighter has that kind of one punch power, they skip out on actually building technique to match. In that way, Rountree sets himself well apart from the rank and file of MW prospects, and is why he's one of the few crushing strikers to make our list at any division.

Rountree really does look like he's modeled a lot of his technical game on Anderson Silva, at least on the feet. He likes to sit on his back foot, left hand cocked, luring his opponents in to rush him so he can step forward for a powerful counter. It's a style he's developing (not a complete one), but that natural power, and the signs of development mark him for huge potential.

Points of Development

T.P. Grant: Rountree's grappling is still a big question mark, he has not had to lean on it much at all in his career. professional or otherwise. Rountree is a monster in the clinch in terms of strength, but it is unclear how he will fair against highly skilled inside fighters. Rountree's overall striking game still has room for growth, he makes good use of movement and angles defensively, but if those fail him he doesn't have a second layer of defense and is then hittable.

Zane Simon: Like most natural counter fighters, Rountree is really far more comfortable going backwards rather than forwards. Because of this, he's not necessarily a natural combination striker on attack, at all times. He has the power that he doesn't need to be, but it'd be good to see him work on keeping his game solid moving forward. Also, because of that natural power, Rountree's grappling and wrestling is still questionable. His only amateur loss came at 205, after he'd gassed and was basically just toppled over by his opponent. I'm sure that all of that has improved, and he's powerful enough to be a counter-wrestling tree stump. But, no doubt someone will test him there before long, and it'll be interesting to see how much he struggles.

Overall Projection

Rountree is a really interesting prospect. There is huge upside for him, special fighter upside, think the style of Anderson Silva crossed with the physical gifts of Chris Weidman special. But there is bust potential there too, his late entry into the game could end up meaning he doesn't pick up the deep details of striking until his prime career years are past. It is a tough call and the reason why Rountree ended up being #3 and not #1, he could end up being a serious threat for the Middleweight title, or he could be another Houston Alexander. A reasonable middle ground  and tempered expectation for Rountree could be something like to Costas Philippou.

Stay tuned for the #2 Middleweight! And to look up other articles in this series check out the table below. For comments, questions, or suggestions head down to the comment line or reach out to T.P. and Zane on Twitter: @TP_Grant and @TheZaneSimon

2015 Bloody Elbow Scouting Report

Flyweight Bantamweight Featherweight Lightweight Welterweight
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EXTRA!
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EXTRA!
#1. Duquesnoy
#2. MagomedovTemirov
#3. Froes
#4. Jordan
#5. Motta
#6. Vitruk
#7. Askhabov
#8. Grundy
#9. Matmuratov
#10. Azhiev
EXTRA! #1 EXTRA! #2
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EXTRA!
#1. Usman
#2. Mustafaev
#3. Nurmagomedov
#4. Khaliev
#5. Scope
#6. Vartanyan
#7. Kadestam
#8. Piraev
#9. Amosov
#10. Tokov
EXTRA!
Middleweight L. Heayvweight Heavyweight W.Strawweight W. Bantamweight
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#3. Rountree
#4. Jurisic
#5. Piechota
#6. Svirid
#7. Antigulov
#8. Todhunter
#9. Gavrilovic
#10. Nunes
EXTRA!
#1. Mokhnatkin
#2. Martell
#3. Kurbanismailov
#4. Astakhov
#5. Ankalaev
#6. Edilov
#7. Prochazka
#8. Albrektsson
#9. Moore
#10. Gamzatov
EXTRA!
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EXTRA!
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EXTRA!
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EXTRA!