UFC Fight Island 5 was arguably one of the greatest “Fight Night” cards in UFC history. Especially for Joaquin Buckley, whose entire life was changed after a highlight reel KO. Now, the card now serves as the home for one of, if not, the greatest knockouts in the history of the sport. So much so, that Buckley walked out of Abu Dhabi $50k richer. All kinds of fans were blown away by Buckley’s impressive feat. Even President Donald Trump decided to comment on the Buckley knockout. However, sometimes going viral can cloud the harsh realities that Joaquin still has to clock in at Walgreens for his next shift.
Buckley Shares Trump Story From UFC Fight Island 5
Before the sound of the final bell, Buckley was standing across the octagon looking at an undefeated fighter in Impa Kasanganay. However, the fight will go down in history with a distinct sequence. Buckley threw a kick that Kasanganay caught. He used the energy to spin and produced a brutal heel kick to the center of his opponent’s head. Once Impa’s lights went out, fans and fighters immediately shared their reactions, including Donald Trump.
“Dana White told me personally thought the phone, funny enough I didn’t even know the phone number that popped up, I thought I was doing another interview,” said Buckley. “When Dana White had called me, I was like, ‘Hello?’ He was like, ‘Is this Joaquin?’ I was like, ‘Who’s this?’ He’s like, ‘This is Dana White, man.’ I was just shook. I was like, ‘Hey boss,'” Buckley said.
“But anyway, he was like, ‘Guess who called me?’ I said, ‘Who called you?’ He was like, ‘Donald Trump.’ I was like, ‘Oh man, that’s crazy.’ Donald Trump was just asking what he thought of the knockout because he’s never seen it. That was the biggest reach out, the president. That was pretty cool, not gonna lie,” Buckley said.
Joaquin Buckley Still Works at Walgreens
Buckley then turned the conversation towards his current gig, which is working at Walgreens. Although he won a 50k bonus, it’s still not enough money to quit his full-time job and focus completely on MMA.
“I’m at Walgreens. I did work for Wal-Mart, though,” explained Joaquin. “I’m still employed by Walgreens. I gotta talk to my boss right now cause I was supposed to get back on Monday.”
“Do I wanna quit? It’s not about wanting to quit, but if I wanna take this sport as seriously now which I should. At the time, I wasn’t looking for this MMA career to be an extra career of mine. I was just looking to get extra money and save it and continue to do what I was doing. But now it’s actually lucrative for me to stay in the sport and get better at the craft now, so I might just have to move now. Not saying I want to move on, but better moves for me if I do.”
Taking a Risk
With a highlight reel KO that spread like wildfire, perhaps pursuing MMA as a full-time job could rake in major cash. After all, if the UFC President and President Trump have Buckley on their radar, the chances of endorsements go through the roof as well.
Of course, it’s a personal decision. But, being a fighter doesn’t last forever so striking while the iron is hot could be worth the risk.