After Unrealistic Post-Fight Callout, Joaquin Buckley Shifts Focus to Gilbert Burns

UFC
May 13, 2024
Joaquin Buckley gave his best effort to get a finish against Nursulton Ruziboev in the third round of the UFC on ESPN 56 co-main event, but it wasn’t meant to be.

Despite a dominant third round where Buckley dropped his foe and outlanded him by a 64-to-16 count in significant strikes, Ruziboev was able to make it to the final horn. Still, there was no doubt about the final verdict, as “New Mansa” emerged with a clear-cut unanimous decision triumph on Saturday at the Enterprise Center in St. Louis for his fourth consecutive UFC victory.

“I ain’t gonna lie. I guess (referee Keith) Peterson had his money on somebody else, because he should have stopped the fight a long time ago,” Buckley said at Saturday’s post-fight press conference. “But it is what it is. He’s a tough guy. He had a lot of motivation to try to win so he stayed in there. His will was strong.”

The performance was especially significant for Buckley, a St. Louis native who had campaigned to get on the card following his victory over Vicente Luque on March 30.

“This win means a lot because we have somebody to represent the city in a positive way, a positive light,” Buckley said. “I’ve grown up here, I was born here, I was raised here. I’m an image that kids can see that you could follow your dreams, and you can do the things that you always want to do. With that being said, this win is definitely going to be a great positive outlet for kids to look at and for me to go out there and continue to do what I’m doing.”

Buckley won’t necessarily get to do everything he wants, at least as it relates to his post-fight callout. Buckley used his microphone time to lobby for a fight with Conor McGregor, a notion UFC CEO Dana White quickly dismissed during his time on the podium. Buckley didn’t necessarily expect to have his request granted, but it didn’t hurt to take a shot, either.

“Definitely not gonna get that, but why not take chances? I’ve been doing it up until this moment, so I said why not make the biggest callout that I could make,” Buckley said. “If Michael Chandler doesn’t show up for the fight [at UFC 303], guess what, ‘New Mansa’ will be ready.”

With that in mind, Buckley shifted to a more realistic opponent for his next outing.

Gilbert Burns, I think it’s a beautiful fight. It’s a beautiful matchup,” Buckley said. “I don’t know when he’s gonna be ready, when he’s gonna be cleared, but Gilbert Burns, definitely.”

Burns, a former welterweight title challenger, has lost his last two Octagon appearances. He last fought at UFC 299, where he suffered a third-round KO defeat to Jack Della Maddalena on March 9.

Reference: https://www.sherdog.com/news/news/After-Unrealistic-PostFight-Callout-Joaquin-Buckley-Shifts-Focus-to-Gilbert-Burns-193666

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