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Joaquin Buckley Disappointed He Couldn’t Score ‘Viral Knockout’ Against Albert Duraev



Joaquin Buckley worked diligently on his defensive wrestling during training camp prior to UFC on ESPN 37 — and it paid off in the form of a doctor stoppage victory against Albert Duraev.

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“I knew this fight was gonna be exactly what it was. I knew exactly what he was capable of. He had one thing that he was good at: holding people down,” Buckley said at Saturday’s post-fight press conference. “I made sure this whole camp I practiced if I got taken down, I was getting back up. We were working a lot of scenarios on the ground, just being patient, working my hips to the cage, getting back up and throwing them hands.”

Duraev was successful on just two of his nine takedown attempts in the middleweight bout and often absorbed heavy left-hand counters when he did attempt to shoot. That damage accumulated and over time, Duraev’s left eye closed completely. The contest was waved off before the start of the third round, though there was initially some confusion regarding the start of the final stanza.

“Actually I had no clue (about the stoppage) because I was so hyped,” Buckley said. “I saw him resting and chilling on the cage and breathing more air. I was like, ‘Come on, stop wasting time, let’s go.’ But once I saw the doctor come in I was like, ‘They’re probably gonna stop the fight.’”

Buckley has won five of his last six Octagon appearances, including four via knockout or technical knockout. The latest finish was a little bit anticlimactic, but Buckley knew it was the right call.

“The doctor stoppage, it was cool, but I always want those viral knockouts and those viral moments,” Buckley said. “That’s my biggest thing. I’m glad the doctor stopped it for him and his health, but I wish he would’ve added a little bit more pressure so I could’ve put his lights out.”

Buckley began his UFC tenure in the midddle of the pandemic, so Saturday in Austin, Texas, marked the first time he was able to compete in front of a capacity crowd. It’s something he hopes to see again in the near future.

“That felt electric,” he said. “This is what I’m made for. I’m a showtime fighter. When you put me in front of the crowds, I can’t do anything but level up every single time and just feel like it’s my night. I feel like I’m a main event fighter too. I feel like that’s gonna come down the road where I’m gonna have a card of my own…maybe [in his hometown of] St. Louis.”

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