Mon. Jan 30th, 2023

Joaquin Buckley didn’t get exactly what he wanted for his next fight.

‘I Wanted Khamzat In December’

‘New Mansa’ has been campaigning to fight UFC superstar Khamzat Chimaev for quite some time now, but he has been unable to secure a fight with the Swedish fighter. Instead, he will have to settle for Chris Curtis.

While Buckley has asked to fight Curtis in the past, he wasn’t all too happy that the fight came together just now. For Buckley, the ship of potentially facing Curtis had already sailed, which is why he ultimately shifted his sights on the likes of Khamzat Chimaev. It might be back to square one, but Buckley tries to look on the bright side.

“I really wasn’t satisfied because when I wanted [Curtis], I didn’t get him,” Buckley told MMA Island. “But the thing is, Chris Curtis is still a good matchup for me. He’s ranked #15 in the world so that’s good but at the end of the day, I wanted Khamzat in December. I feel like the Khamzat fight, he had a lot of momentum on his side and that’s why I wanted to fight him.

“But me coming off a loss and Chris Curtis coming off a loss, I guess it made more sense for the UFC to make it. But, I wanted Chris Curtis before we had to fight Nassourdine [Imavov] and before he had to fight Jack Hermansson. We should have had that fight way before, but I’m glad I got it though. I got to fight at the end of the year, so that’s all that matters.”

Co-Main Event Campaign

The middleweight fight might be seen as a grudge match between the fighters after Buckley initially called out Curtis. ‘The Action Man’ wouldn’t let his words go unnoticed as he acted out and sent shots of his own to his former teammate. Even after all the back-and-forth online, Buckley isn’t taking this bout personal. It’s just business. And Buckley thinks it might be big enough business to secure a co-main event spotlight.

“This ain’t personal, it’s all about money. Ain’t none of them personal. Ain’t nothing personal, I’m just trying to get paid like the next man. I feel like actually this is gonna be a good fight for me and Chris, to try to promote and get the fight to the co-main [event].

“I don’t care who’s on that fight card besides actually the main event. I feel like the co-main should be me and Chris Curtis, cause that’s the fight that people wanna see. So why not have that fight lead up into the main event?”

Buckley Breaks Down The Match-Up

When it comes to fighting Curtis, the St. Louis native believes he is just a bit better everywhere than his middleweight counterpart.

“We virtually the same fighter, I’m just better,” Buckley laughed. I feel like my grappling’s a little bit better. I feel like my striking is a little bit better. I feel like the only thing that’s the difference is landing a power shot. So, who’s gonna land a power shot first and who’s going to be able to get that damage off first? I feel like I’m gonna be the one that get it off first before he does.

“But he’s still a dangerous guy. Don’t get it twisted. That boy got melatonin in his hands. He’ll put you to sleep if you let him, so my biggest thing is just keeping the footwork on him, keeping that jab on him and getting power shots off. That’s it.”

You can watch our full interview with Joaquin Buckley below.

By Chris De Santiago

Chris De Santiago is a 20-year-old journalist out of Texas. He is the founder of MMA Island and also works for