There’s no other way to put it. Joaquin Buckley sent shockwaves through the sports world Saturday night.
At UFC on ESPN+ 37, Buckley (11-3 MMA, 1-1 UFC) knocked out highly touted and previously undefeated middleweight Impa Kasanganay with one of the most jaw-dropping knockouts you’ll ever see. The finish instantly went viral, allegedly topping the UFC’s all-time charts for a social media post (5.6 million views on Twitter as of this writing).
— UFC (@ufc) October 10, 2020
Sitting in the chair backstage awaiting his interview with Karyn Bryant, Buckley was overcome with emotion at the sight of his boss approaching him. UFC president Dana White came into the back to shake hands with Buckley and congratulate him on one of the greatest knockouts in the promotion’s history.
“Aw, naw,” Buckley said in a video captured by ESPN. “You’re gonna make me cry.”
“Aw naw, you gonna make me cry.”
— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) October 11, 2020
The finish’s beautiful, brutal, uniqueness caused many fans and media members to suggest the UFC give Buckley all four $50,000 post-fight bonuses. Though Buckley ultimately only received one of those four checks, White heard the calls and had a lot of kind words for the UFC’s newest viral sensation.
“I always talk about when you’re on a card, right?” White said. “How do you stand out? My phone is blowing up. Kevin Iole (expletive) hit me up for a quote because he’s already doing a story on you. Everybody is saying, ‘Just give him $200,000 tonight. Give him every bonus.’ Nobody has ever seen anything like that. Sean Shelby texted me and said, ‘Write him a check right now for $50,000 and go give it to him before he gets out of (there). Incredible.”
UFC on ESPN+ 37 took place Saturday at Flash Forum on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi. The event streamed on ESPN+.
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