It was about a year ago when Khaos Williams put himself near the top of the Best Newcomers list in 2020. After shocking Alex Morono with a 27-second knockout at UFC 247 in a short-notice debut, Williams lined up against fellow knockout artist Abdul Razak Alhassan and delivered another thunderous knockout 30 seconds into the fight. Williams tried to parlay that into a third win in 2020 a month later against Michel Pereira, but when it went to the scorecards, the judges gave the nod to the Brazilian instead.
Seven months later, Williams bounced back to hand Matthew Semelsberger his first UFC loss with a steady, controlled decision victory. Whereas some fighters scoff at needing the judges to give them the win, Williams doesn’t need a finish to feel validated.
“My main thing is go in there and get the win,” Williams told UFC.com. “You’re not going to knock everybody out. You’re not going to submit everybody. You’re not going to finish everybody, and that’s just the facts, but as long as you go in there, and you do what you gotta do and you get the W, that’s all that matters. Anybody that I’m in there with, they’re going to feel me all that 15 minutes. I would rather it be an early night, but it is what it is.”
Williams believes his skill set wasn’t given much credit because of his pair of quick knockout wins, but against Pereira and even more so against Semelsberger, he was glad to showcase his abilities.
Now, he welcomes Miguel Baeza, a welterweight prospect who just suffered his first professional loss — a unanimous decision to Santiago Ponzinibbio. Before that, Baeza was building momentum as a name to watch in the division.
While that hype was and is well-earned, Williams isn’t particularly motivated to steal hype from the 29-year-old. Two years his opponent’s junior, Williams understands what he brings to the table as well. Proudly representing Jackson, Michigan, “The OxFighter” embraces the grind.
“Coming from where I come from, the odds have always been stacked against me,” he said. “Odds were stacked against me even to just get to the UFC, so me being here, fighting people that’s got all this (hype), I got a lot of clout too. I get this question semi-a-lot, but basically, people be worried about who I’m across (from). They need to be worried about that they’re across from me. They’re going to see that though. Especially after this fight.”
In terms of the type of fight Williams expects, he described a “high-class, technical” fight, which is appropriate considering the two fighters’ track record. They both have the power to shut the lights out with 13 knockouts between them, and neither shy away from a firefight.
In less than two years, Williams has established himself as an entertaining fighter in the stacked welterweight division, and a win over Baeza almost certainly puts him on a path toward a ranked opponent. Although he isn’t shy about his confidence, Williams projects a sense of “time will tell” about his talent and ability. Fight night represents another window of opportunity to let people know who he is in the Octagon, but in terms of calling his shots or letting his ambitions be known, he prefers to let his “actions and hands” speak for themselves.
UFC 247: Khaos Williams Knocks Out Morono
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UFC 247: Khaos Williams Knocks Out Morono
All that matters to him, in fact, isn’t making a statement with a knockout or anything else like that. He won’t think about where this fight puts him until he has evaluated his own performance after the fact. Instead, he just wants his hand raised at the end by any means necessary. Having tasted defeat just twice in his pro career, he’s well-aware of the feeling, which is all the motivation he needs on November 13 at UFC Fight Night: Holloway vs Rodriguez.
“I hate to lose more than I love to win,” he said. “It’s just that winning feeling. I know what I gotta do … I just gotta leave it all in there. Point, blank, period.”