Ten days ago, at UFC Fight Island 5, UFC middleweight Joaquin Buckley broke the internet with his picture-perfect spinning heel kick knockout of Impa Kasanganay. With millions of views on Twitter, the UFC already named it 2020’s KO of the Year.
KO of the Year!
Go all angles on @NewMansa94‘s masterpiece
[ #UFCFightIsland5 | #InAbuDhabi | @VisitAbuDhabi ] pic.twitter.com/1ywVZzin5U
— UFC (@ufc) October 10, 2020
Buckley’s highlight reel performance already caught the attention Mr. Yeezy himself Kanye West, who turned that little snippet into a music video. Apparently, it also amazed US president Donald Trump, who relayed his appreciation through longtime pal Dana White.
“New Mansa” recently spoke to TMZ Sports to share his short phone call with the UFC president.
“He was like, ‘guess who called me,’” Buckley recalled of his conversation with White. “I was like, ‘who called you?’ He was like, ‘Donald Trump.’” And I was just, like, ‘Aw man, that’s crazy.’ But Donald Trump was just asking what he thought of the knockout, that he’d never seen anything like that. So that’s the biggest who reached out, the President. That was pretty cool, I’m not gonna lie.”
Buckley received a life-changing $50,000 bonus for Performance of the Night, but he still works his day job at Walgreens to keep his finances afloat. But with a potential-filled fighting career at hand, he’s now at a crossroads.
“I’m still employed by Walgreens,” said the 26-year-old. “I gotta talk to my boss right now, because I was supposed to head back on Monday.
“Do I want to quit? No, it’s not about wanting to quit. But if I want to take this sport serious now, which I should, because at the same time, like I said, I wasn’t looking for this MMA career to be an actual career of mine. I was just looking to get extra money and save it and continue to do what I was doing.
“But now, it’s actually lucrative for me to stay in the sport and actually just get better at the craft now, so I might just have to move on. Not saying I want to move on, but at the same time, it’s just better moves for me if I do.”
Now 1-1 in the UFC, Buckley agreed to jump right back in to face undefeated Jordan Wright at UFC 255 on November 21.
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