UFC St. Louis: Joaquin Buckley Shows Off Complete Game Against Nursulton Ruziboev

Joaquin Buckley and Nursulton Ruziboev, UFC St. Louis
Joaquin Buckley and Nursulton Ruziboev, UFC St. Louis face-off Credit: Youtube/UFC

Joaquin Buckley campaigned, and campaigned hard to get a spot on UFC St. Louis, and landed it, paired up with Nursulton Ruziboev in the night’s co-main event.

The three-round welterweight bout saw #11 Buckley, a local fave, with the crowd firmly behind him. He opened the bout with feints and foot movement, looking to close the distance. When he did, it wasn’t a dazzling strike but a powerful takedown that Buckley connected with. But Ruziboev escaped, went on the attacked, wobbled Buckley- only for Buckley to land another, this one extremely timely.

Ruziboev didn’t stay down long, but the action to that point had sparked a “Buckley” chant throughout the arena. From there they traded at range, with Buckley eating a few punches to close the distance, then fire a spinning kick that missed.

Round two saw Joaquin Buckley landed another takedown all of 30 seconds in. The tall, lanky middleweight would make it back to his feet soon after, but the wrestling of Buckley was having its intended effect. Ruziboev was fighting with the thought of a takedown on his mind, and his offense appeared limited as a result. When Buckley landed another takedown late in the second frame, Ruziboev chased an arm-bar, but wasn’t close.

Three key blows landed for Joaquin Buckley early in round three- a right/left combo then a third punch that put Ruziboev down! Buckley followed him down and had to avoid upkicks; Ruziboev made it back up, only to find himself dropped again moment slater! This time “Newmansa” got on top and began dropping ground n’ pound, elbows and punches flowing. Buckley was in mount, Ruziboev holding on only to eat more elbows. Somehow, Ruziboev managed to get on top in a scramble, but another scramble saw the reverse play out, with Buckley ending up back in control.

With time winding down the ref halted things when Ruziboev connected with an illegal upkick. Ref Keith Petersen gave Buckley the choice of position and he opted to stand things up, finishing the round on the feet. While he couldn’t put Ruziboev away, there was no question as to the winner with a dominant showing from Joaquin Buckley.

Official Result: Joaquin Buckley def. Nursulton Ruziboev by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-26, 29-27)