Joaquin Buckley Believes He Made Vicente Luque 'Quit' at UFC on ESPN 54

April 1, 2024
It was a strange sight to see Vicente Luque pull guard during his co-main event showdown with Joaquin Buckley at UFC on ESPN 54 on Saturday night.

After all, Luque is well-known for his finishing ability, as he ranks second all-time in the UFC’s welterweight division in that category with 13 career victories inside the distance. However, with Buckley getting the better of their clash at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, New Jersey, “The Assassin” opted for a different route, one which ultimately led to his demise. Once Luque pulled guard, Buckley unloaded with a salvo of ground-and-pound that led to the bout being halted at the 3:17 mark of Round 2.

“I laughed actually. I chuckled when he pulled guard,” Buckley said at the post-fight press conference. “This whole time I was thinking about Vicente. We all know he’s a talented fighter. I feel like there’s a lot of times where he ends up in a situation, and he tries to fight through.

“I felt like I could break Vicente Luque, and that’s exactly what we did. It actually happened. I made him quit.”

According to Buckley, he didn’t get to show everything he wanted to in the victory.

“It’s just wherever the fight goes, I’ll show everybody what my weapons [are]. I have great wrestling, I’ve got great jiu-jitsu that I still haven’t shown off yet. There’s a lot of striking combinations that I haven’t been able to display,” he said. “I was wishing to hit a certain combination on Vicente Luque, but he ended up pulling guard and succumbing to the power.”

Buckley initially made his name for a viral knockout of Impa Kasanganay in his sophomore Octagon appearance. He’s experienced some ups and downs since then, but his current three-bout winning streak has “New Mansa” trending upward in the UFC’s welterweight division. The next objective is a spot on the promotion’s event in his hometown of St. Louis on May 11.

“That’s the plan,” Buckley said. “We’ve got to talk in the UFC. I’m open to fight in May. When I say I want to fight anybody and everybody, that’s what I want to do. Everybody’s that’s above me that’s in the rankings.”

When it comes to potential opponents, Buckley is keeping his options open — with one notable exception. He is no longer interested in a rematch with Kevin Holland, who defeated Buckley in his promotional debut at UFC Fight Night 174.

“I don’t want it back no more,” Buckley said. “He lost to [Michael Page]. Damn poor child, you messed up the money. I was hunting him down the whole time. I was trying to get the opportunity, he didn’t want to give it to me. Now we’re just looking forward.”


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