ABU DHABI – Joaquin Buckley is confident that he will continue adding to his highlight reel Saturday.
Buckley (12-3 MMA, 2-1 UFC) faces Alessio Di Chirico (12-5 MMA, 3-5 UFC) at UFC on ABC 1, which takes place Jan. 16 on “Fight Island” in Abu Dhabi.
Coming off of back-to-back knockouts, including his “Knockout of the Year” vs. Impa Kasanganay, Buckley is looking to continue riding his momentum by handing Di Chirico his first knockout loss.
“I think I’ve seen his fight before with Zak Cummings before I knew who he was,” Buckley told reporters, including MMA Junkie, on Wednesday at media day. “It was kind of a boring fight back and forth, but Zak Cummings ended up giving him a nice shot at the last third round of the match, and it really showed that Alessio’s chin is probably very compromised, and I’m looking to show that in the fight we about to have.”
While Buckley has enjoyed delivering one spectacular finish after the other, he certainly has aspirations of becoming champion. He isn’t letting the hype get to him but is aiming to recreate that magic this year.
“I’m thinking of that fast rise for sure,” Buckley said. “And fighting the right fights at the right time and in 2022, definitely having that gold belt around me.”
He continued, “I gotta enjoy it. I gotta have fun with it. Me winning that award is a big deal. It was history making. That’s gonna go down for a very long time, and people are gonna look back at that and say how amazing that moment was so for me, I just gotta enjoy the moment, but just not bask in it. It happened, move on to the next, and Alessio is definitely going to be on that mark for 2021 ‘Knockout of the Year.”