UFC Fight Night 233 video: Khalil Rountree wobbles Anthony Smith, wins by TKO, calls for Alex Pereira title fight

Khalil Rountree got the signature win he’s been wanting to add to his resume Saturday after defeating former light heavyweight title challenger Anthony Smith in the UFC Fight Night 233 co-main event.

Rountree (13-5 MMA, 9-5 UFC) saw his career-best streak reach five when he beat Smith (37-19 MMA, 12-9 UFC) by third-round TKO at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas.

“The War Horse” once again made the difference with his power and striking technique as he managed to hurt Smith multiple times before dropping him for the finish 56 seconds into Round 3. Afterward, Rountree called for a title shot against reigning 205-pound kingpin Alex Pereira.

“I came in with high hopes I would have a good performance,” Rountree said in his post-fight interview with Paul Felder. “Las Vegas is the home of the UFC. And in my mind I feel like it’s time to have a champion at home. I’m in the top 10 now and the only thing that I want to do is fight Alex Pereira. I know that I have other people that I have to possibly fight, but I know that’s a fight the fans would want to see. I think that from what I’ve seen, the fans would love to see that fight.”

Smith pushed to the middle of the cage to begin Round 1. However, Rountree got a read quickly and started landing some powerful shots. Smith stayed composed and found him moments to counter, but Rountree significantly tested his chin on multiple occasions.

The momentum for Rountree continued into Round 2. He wobbled Smith with a huge punch early in the round then settled in to a persistent flow of punches and kicks. Smith continued to push forward and pressure Rountree, but failed to land anything clean enough to meaningfully alter the flow of the action.

In the third, Rountree loaded up with a slick uppercut, left hand combination that once again sent Smith wobbling back. This time he dropped, and while Rountree stood over him threatening a hammerfist, the referee stopped in and waved it off.

With the result, Rountree, who entered the fight No. 12 in the latest USA TODAY Sports/MMA Junkie light heavyweight rankings, can expect forward movement into the top 10 of the weight class. The 33-year-old hasn’t tasted defeat since January 2021, but had never got open the hump of four-straight wins previously in his career. Now that has changed.

Smith, meanwhile, fell short after stepping in on 15 days’ notice as a replacement to fight Rountree. “Lionheart” is now 1-3 in his past four fights dating back to July 2022.

Up-to-the-minute UFC Fight Night 233 results include:

For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC Fight Night 233.

UFC Fight Night: Amanda v Alencar

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - DECEMBER 09: (R-L) Rayanne Amanda of Brazil punches Talita Alencar of Brazil…

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - DECEMBER 09: (R-L) Rayanne Amanda of Brazil punches Talita Alencar of Brazil in a flyweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on December 09, 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

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UFC Fight Night: Amanda v Alencar

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - DECEMBER 09: (R-L) Talita Alencar of Brazil kicks Rayanne Amanda of Brazil…

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - DECEMBER 09: (R-L) Talita Alencar of Brazil kicks Rayanne Amanda of Brazil in a flyweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on December 09, 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

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UFC Fight Night: Taira v Hernandez

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - DECEMBER 09: Carlos Hernandez battles Tatsuro Taira of Japan in a flyweight…

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - DECEMBER 09: Carlos Hernandez battles Tatsuro Taira of Japan in a flyweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on December 09, 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

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UFC Fight Night: Taira v Hernandez

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - DECEMBER 09: (R-L) Tatsuro Taira of Japan battles Carlos Hernandez in a…

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - DECEMBER 09: (R-L) Tatsuro Taira of Japan battles Carlos Hernandez in a flyweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on December 09, 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

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UFC Fight Night: Santos v Egger

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - DECEMBER 09: (R-L) Stephanie Egger of Switzerland punches Luana Santos of Brazil…

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - DECEMBER 09: (R-L) Stephanie Egger of Switzerland punches Luana Santos of Brazil in a bantamweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on December 09, 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

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UFC Fight Night: Santos v Egger

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - DECEMBER 09: (L-R) Luana Santos of Brazil kicks Stephanie Egger of Switzerland…

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - DECEMBER 09: (L-R) Luana Santos of Brazil kicks Stephanie Egger of Switzerland in a bantamweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on December 09, 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

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UFC Fight Night: Garcia v Costa

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - DECEMBER 09: (L-R) Melquizael Costa of Brazil battles Steve Garcia in a…

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - DECEMBER 09: (L-R) Melquizael Costa of Brazil battles Steve Garcia in a lightweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on December 09, 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

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UFC Fight Night: Garcia v Costa

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - DECEMBER 09: (R-L) Steve Garcia battles Melquizael Costa of Brazil in a…

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - DECEMBER 09: (R-L) Steve Garcia battles Melquizael Costa of Brazil in a lightweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on December 09, 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

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UFC Fight Night: Park v Ross

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - DECEMBER 09: (R-L) Shannon Ross of Australia punches HyunSung Park of South…

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - DECEMBER 09: (R-L) Shannon Ross of Australia punches HyunSung Park of South Korea in a flyweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on December 09, 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

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UFC Fight Night: Park v Ross

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - DECEMBER 09: (L-R) HyunSung Park of South Korea punches Shannon Ross of…

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - DECEMBER 09: (L-R) HyunSung Park of South Korea punches Shannon Ross of Australia in a flyweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on December 09, 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

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UFC Fight Night: Song v Jousset

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - DECEMBER 09: (R-L) Song Kenan of China battles Kevin Jousset of France…

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - DECEMBER 09: (R-L) Song Kenan of China battles Kevin Jousset of France in a welterweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on December 09, 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

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UFC Fight Night: Song v Jousset

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - DECEMBER 09: (R-L) Kevin Jousset of France punches Song Kenan of China…

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - DECEMBER 09: (R-L) Kevin Jousset of France punches Song Kenan of China in a welterweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on December 09, 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

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UFC Fight Night: Park v Muniz

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - DECEMBER 09: (R-L) JunYong Park of South Korea kicks Andre Muniz of…

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - DECEMBER 09: (R-L) JunYong Park of South Korea kicks Andre Muniz of Brazil in a middleweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on December 09, 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

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UFC Fight Night: Park v Muniz

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - DECEMBER 09: (L-R) Andre Muniz of Brazil kicks JunYong Park of South…

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - DECEMBER 09: (L-R) Andre Muniz of Brazil kicks JunYong Park of South Korea in a middleweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on December 09, 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

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UFC Fight Night: Elliott v Sumudaerji

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - DECEMBER 09: (R-L) Sumudaerji of China battles Tim Elliott in a bantamweight…

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - DECEMBER 09: (R-L) Sumudaerji of China battles Tim Elliott in a bantamweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on December 09, 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

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UFC Fight Night: Elliott v Sumudaerji

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - DECEMBER 09: (L-R) Tim Elliott battles Sumudaerji of China in a bantamweight…

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - DECEMBER 09: (L-R) Tim Elliott battles Sumudaerji of China in a bantamweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on December 09, 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

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Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie