UFC’s emotional Khalil Rountree turned life around after dad’s horrific murder

Khalil Rountree has discussed how his life changed after his weight loss and tragic family incident.

Shedding tears in an emotional post-fight interview on March 13, Khalil spoke about how his father's death continues to affect him.

He broke down as he said "It might sound a bit cliche, or we have heard this before but your life matters."

Bravely and briefly gathering himself, the UFC fighter continued: "You can be special, you can be strong, you can be seen you can be heard."

Khalil was being interviewed after his sixth win in the UFC, in which he stopped Karl Roberson in the second round.

The interview explained how he found mixed-martial-arts (MMA) helped him out of a spiral of depression.

Khalil came from nowhere when he decided to take up MMA, overweight at the age of 19.

With him overcoming real adversity and incredible heartbreak, what got Khalil to being a successful MMA and UFC fighter?

Where can I watch the clip of Khalil's interview?

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It is easy to find the clip of Khalil's amazing interview – just visit the MMA Junkie YouTube page here.

It is around 16 minutes long and starts with an impassioned message from Khalil about how he still doubts himself every day before descending into tears towards the end of the press conference.

He said: "It doesn't have to be how everybody else makes it seem. Stick around. Stick around another day.

"I would have a lot of things to say like that.

He encourages those who need help to get themselves help, grateful for where he is today after a difficult upbringing.

What happened to Khalil Rountree's father?

Khalil's father Roderick Rountree was the road manager for the award-winning group Boyz II Men, but he was murdered in 1992 after being shot multiple times in the head.

Khalil was just two at the time and doesn't remember much of his father, but believes that his passing undoubtedly plays a part in his difficult life growing up.

Before he turned his life around, Khalil weighed around 300lb (over 21 stone, or 136kg) and smoked two packs of cigarettes a day.

His poor mental health during his childhood led him to spiral and binge on food and fags. It meant the Khalil then was vastly different to the one we see today.

He told Yahoo: "I felt I was going to die in my sleep. It’s really strange when you have a 19-year-old who believes he may never wake up once he goes to sleep, but that’s where I was."

In his amazing rant after his most recent fight, Khalil revealed he fights the teenage version of himself every day.

He said: "We are still people. Yes, I come in here and put in performances and people know me as fighting, but that whole part of me when I was 300 pounds without a hope, dream or dollar to step into an MMA gym to try to change my life and every time I am in here that is still [growing]. Every single day I have to fight that person.

"Just because I am in the UFC and I fight, it doesn't mean that person is long gone. I still have demand, I still have doubts.

"That's why when John Morgan asked me that question I almost got pissed off, 'do you have doubts?' F**k yeah I have doubts. What do you think?"

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