Last month, middleweight Joaquin Buckley landed one of the most spectacular knockouts in UFC history, and he’s back inside the Octagon on Saturday. “New Mansa” is set to take on undefeated Jordan Wright during the preliminary card of UFC 255 on November 21.
Buckley last competed on October 10 when he knocked out Impa Kasanganay with a jumping spinning back kick in the second round during UFC Fight Night: Moraes vs. Sandhagen. The knockout instantly went viral and UFC president Dana White later announced that the knockout clip had more impressions and views on social media than any other content in history.
Watch New Mansa’s KO below:
UTTERLY INSANE 🤯
🎬 @NewMansa94 is back after his KO of the Year on Fight Island!
— UFC (@ufc) November 17, 2020
Buckley (11-3,) recently spoke with Heavy about the knockout and his upcoming bout with Wright (11-0, 1 NC). Wright is competing in his second UFC bout, winning his promotion debut in August by first-round TKO. All 11 of “The Beverly Hills Ninja’s” wins have come via stoppage, with six by KO or TKO and five by submission.
Buckley, who has eight wins by KO or TKO, told Heavy that he likes the contest with Wright.
“I think we match up perfectly,” New Mansa said. “I think he’s going to keep it on the feet which is fine with me, that’s where I love to have the fight at. It’s going to be an exciting fight, back and forth, and I’m definitely expecting a first-round knockout.”
In terms of where a victory will land Buckley rankings, he doesn’t care. “I think I’m the best, period, and that’s all that matters. I don’t have control of where they put me on the rankings, so just line them up and take them out, that’s it.”
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Buckley Is Willing to Fight In 2 Different Divisions, Wants to Remain Active
New Mansa has no issue fighting at middleweight or welterweight and welcomes all comers. Although all of Buckley’s UFC fights have been at 185, he also has a history at welterweight.
“It’s whatever,” Buckley said. “I don’t care. I’ll fight at 170, 185, I don’t care. A fight is a fight, as long as you get paid good.”
New Mansa has a priority in the UFC and that’s to stay active. His match against Wright will be Buckley’s third in the promotion since August and his fourth fight since July.
“I don’t really care about the division,” Buckley continued. “They’re going to rank you wherever they rank you, put you wherever they’re going to put you. I’m just trying to stay consistent, man, stay active. [There was] a while where I wasn’t consistent at all, so I’m just trying to feed my appetite.”
Buckley told Heavy that he wants to continue fighting and getting paid frequently as long as he’s healthy, including potentially competing in December.
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New Mansa Is Eyeing Gold, Says He Matches Up Well With Israel Adesanya
Buckley has dreams of one day becoming a UFC champion, and with his conviction and self-belief, Buckley is ready to storm the castle. When asked where he sees himself at the end of 2021, New Mansa said that if he keeps fighting the way he knows he can, he sees himself near the top.
“I’m trying to get that gold,” New Mansa said. “I’m pursuing not only the check but also the gold, as well. That’s what it comes with, money comes with that. We’re looking to get to the biggest or highest level of competition, and that’s in the top ten to top five, up to the number one spot.”
The current king of the middleweight division is Israel Adesanya and Buckley believes he matches up well with “The Last Stylebender.”
“I think I match up just fine,” he said. “He’s a great standup fighter, long and everything in that nature. But, you know, the way that I fight, aggressively, my footwork, my movement, and everything in that nature, I think I could be detrimental to anybody that I fight. Also, I haven’t shown my grappling a lot but I have great pursuit for double legs.”
Buckley also said that he has powerful ground and pound and that his overall game can beat anybody.
“I think I match up fine with Israel Adesanya,” New Mansa continued. “I’m a problem for everybody.”
Buckley Believes His Win Over Kasanganay Is ‘Knockout of the Year’ & More
There is a short list of “Knockout of the Year” candidates for 2020, including “Suga” Sean O’Malley’s KO of Eddie Wineland, Cody Garbrandt’s KO of Raphael Assuncao and Francis Ngannou’s KO of Jairzinho Rozenstruik.
However, the top of that list could be New Mana’s jumping spinning back kick knockout in October. Buckley confirmed to Heavy that he believes it deserves the honors of Knockout of the Year.
And it doesn’t stop there. After Buckley knocked out Kasanganay on October 10, the UFC shared a clip of the kick on its official Twitter account, writing, “THE MOST UNBELIEVABLE KO IN UFC HISTORY.”
When asked if he agrees with what the UFC wrote, New Mansa said, “For sure. Nobody had seen it before. No one has done it before. I did something that nobody has ever seen, done in real life, only in video games, like Tekken or Street Fighter, you know what I mean? So, I’d call it pretty unbelievable.”