UFC Fight Island 7 Results: Alessio Di Chirico Flips Script With Highlight Reel Finish of Joaquin Buckley

Alessio Di Chirico and Joaquin Buckley, UFC Fight Island 7
ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - JANUARY 17: (L-R) Alessio di Chirico of Italy punches Joaquin Buckley in a middleweight bout during the UFC Fight Night event at Etihad Arena on UFC Fight Island on January 17, 2021 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)

You all know you came for this show. Following two straight Performance of the Night finishes, including the Knockout of the Year for 2020, Joaquin Buckley was must-see TV for the UFC.

Which is no doubt why they placed him on the main card of their first ever event to be broadcast on ABC. “New Mansa” was second fight in on Saturday’s UFC Fight Island 7 card, taking on Italy’s Alessio Di Chirico — who, on a three-fight losing streak, had felt like little more than an afterthought in the lead-up to the affair.

Joaquin Buckley was clearly looking to land a big right hand early. Di Chirico was wise to it, and kept out of range. And then he flipped the script. As Buckley dipped down, the Italian launched a head kick. Buckley saw it coming, winced, tried to block, but it was too late. Shin met skull, and Buckley crumpled.

After two straight highlight reel knockouts, including one of the best of all time, Buckley was prey instead of predator. Left on the canvas, as Di Chirico celebrated not just the win, but very likely hanging onto his job.

Following the win, Di Chirico declined an interview with Jon Anik, saying it wasn’t right that in a sport that requires two athletes to make something special happen, only winners were interviewed.

Official Result: Alessio Di Chirico def. Joaquin Buckley by knockout (head kick), Round 1, 2:12