Believe it or not, Khaos Williams likes to take his time.
He’s not wrong. After knocking out Alex Morono in 27 seconds at UFC 247, Williams’ encore did last longer – albeit by a measly three seconds. Thirty seconds into his bout with Abdul Razak Alhassan, Williams fired a straight right hand that lifted Alhassan off his feet and left him stiff as a board on the mat.
“It was just surreal,” Williams told UFC.com. “Like I said in my first fight, I’m a very grandiose fighter. I told them that I was the future in the division. A lot of people, they slept on me.
“I was a little bit more composed, took my time, and once again I showed that I was a sniper,” he continued. “It definitely was great, especially it being my second fight, the co-main event. It was just a blessing.”
While the UFC experience is still relatively new for Williams, the results aren’t. Six of his 11 professional wins have come inside of the first round, and five of those have been via knockout. He’s not winging wild punches, either. As his last fight showed, he doesn’t need a lot to generate fight-ending power, something he discovered when he was just 14 years old and plans to show once again against Michel Pereira.
“It was in the streets,” Williams said of his first time knocking someone out. “It was a little surprising. I didn’t expect to do that. You never expect to knock nobody out. I wasn’t in there swinging crazy for the knockout. Even the last two knockouts, it was never no, ‘Oh, I’m about to go in there and knock ‘em out.’ Same with Saturday. I’m not going in there to knock him (Pereira) out. I’m just going in there to win. If he does something crazy, and his chin is not protected, he will get knocked out because I’m going to test it.”
In a wonderful bit of matchmaking, the UFC put together a near-guaranteed fireworks show of a bout. Pereira’s showboating and acrobatics steal the headlines, but the Brazilian is very much a prospect at 170 pounds with the creativity, knockout power and grappling game to give people fits.
At the same time, those show-stealing moments have come at a cost in the past and resulted in losses. Regardless, Williams isn’t concerned with Pereira stealing the show with his unique showmanship.
“The difference between me and him is you know him for the wrong reasons,” Williams said. “You know him for doing all this flashy backflips and stuff like that. I’m known for going in there and punishing people already, and that’s what I’m going to keep doing.”
UFC Vegas 17: Khaos Williams Is Taking His Time
UFC Vegas 17: Khaos Williams Is Taking His Time
With just 57 seconds spent in the Octagon, Williams appears acclimated to the increased exposure, attention and buzz that comes with stunning UFC wins.
Williams, who said he experienced “legal troubles” in the past, takes pride in his how he has turned things around in a positive light that catches people’s attention.
“When people started to see the transition, it kinda caught their attention, and I just stayed the course. I ended up getting into the church and stuff like that. Just keeping a clean slate, keeping my mind right and just leading by example. Through fighting, it kept me mentally sound. It kept me out of trouble and stuff…it was about more than just the money. It was about making an impact and not just an income.”
It’s an impact the Michigan product has felt growing beyond his local community – the perks of delivering spectacular early knockouts.
“I got all of Michigan,” he said. “Really, I got the whole Midwest behind me, and I continue to get people from all over the world starting to mention my name, so it’s a lot. I just gotta keep doing what I’m doing, keep being that role model and showing what hard work and dedication can do and what determination can do. I’ve been patient. I’ve persevered through all the trials and tribulations, and I’m here. This is just another test come Saturday.”
Just 26 years old, Williams looks at his fight career with the same kind of maturity. He isn’t planning to launch himself up the welterweight rankings as fast as possible, but is rather taking the patient, methodical approach to things, despite what his fighting style might portray.
Even should he get a win over Pereira, don’t expect him to start calling for Top 15 fights afterward.
“I’m going to take my time,” Williams said. “God’s timing. I just got here. This is really the beginning. Not only that, but those fights are gonna come. I feel like sometimes, if you get too much too fast, it’s not a blessing. It’s a curse. I like to take my time, strategically go through things.”
As far as fight night on December 19, Williams is confident he won’t get caught up in any of Pereira’s games and playfulness. He just intends to do what he does, and in the Octagon, that means fans should stay glued to their seats the moment the fight begins.
“I’m going to be patient,” he said. “I never go into a fight and get emotional. I’m a calm fighter. He can come in here, and he can do all his mind games or do whatever he wants to do.
“I’m just going to wait on him because it only takes one shot.”