Las Vegas, NV — Probably the only person not big on Joaquin Buckley in the past several weeks has been James Krause.
When Buckley scored a highlight reel two-touch knockout in October against Impa Kasanganay, a kick that will live on in replays the way the “Showtime Kick” did, Krause was one of the few naysayers. Not about the kick, but about Buckley himself. “He’s been kicked out of every gym in St. Louis, I’ve never heard a good word said about him,” Krause said in an interview with What the Heck (via MMA Fighting) shortly after Buckley went viral.
Buckley, it turned out, had asked to train at Krause’s gym. Krause refused, and later said he was willing to fight Buckley.
Following another big knockout win at UFC 255, Buckley gave his side of the story. “It’s just the mentality of where I come from. A lot of people hate on each other. A lot of people don’t want to see another person rise up and be successful if they can’t be put in that position themselves,” he said after his knockout of Jordan Wright on Saturday. “I think it’s just hatred, just envy. At the end of the day, whatever he said about me, he could have proved, for me to come in and spar with him. He wasn’t willing to do that. He just wants to keep a brother down.”
With the crux of the issue seeming to be Buckley’s behavior in sparring, “I had to go to a whole other place just to get some love. And they don’t complain about my sparring. At all,’ he stated.
So in short, Buckley does not believe that he’s a bad training partner. “No, I don’t. You can ask Khaos [Williams], you can ask anyone from Michigan. They’ll tell you the truth.”
Buckley was quick to say he’d be willing to fight Krause, at middleweight. He’s just not about to put his rival’s name in the headlines, at least not directly. “[The fight] definitely makes sense for me, for sure. But at the end of the day, I’m not going to say his name. I don’t need to,” he said.
However, with two straight wins, he’s hoping to get on the Conor McGregor card next year. Whether it’s Krause he’s fighting or not. “That’d be dope. Yeah. As soon as possible. ASAP.”
Watch the full UFC 255 post-fight press conference with Joaquin Buckley above.