After breaking into the UFC rankings with latest win, what’s next for Joaquin Buckley?

MMA: UFC Fight Night - Atlantic City - Luque vs Buckley
Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

This past Saturday night in the co-main event of UFC Atlantic City, we saw a big time matchup in the welterweight division. Rising contender Joaquin Buckley (18-6) was looking to break into the welterweight rankings as he took on ranked contender Vicente Luque (22-10-1).

Luque was coming off of a win against former champion Rafael Dos Anjos while Buckley had been perfect since moving to welterweight. Entering Saturday night, Buckley was 2-0 and was looking to make it 3-0 at 170 pounds.

From the moment the fight started, the speed and power was a big advantage for Buckley. You could tell that Luque just didn’t feel comfortable in the exchanges with Buckley. That resulted in Buckley clearly winning the first round. In the second round, we saw more of the same.

Luque went for a takedown and when he knew he wasn’t getting it, he pulled guard. From there, Buckley went to work with big shots from the guard and that ultimately ended the fight. Just a massive win for Joaquin Buckley at UFC Atlantic City.

What’s next after UFC Atlantic City?

With this win, Buckley made his debut in the UFC rankings this week. Buckley comes in at number 11 and there are a ton of compelling matchups for him against ranked contenders. Buckley is wanting a relatively quick turnaround if possible with the promotion coming to his hometown on May 11th in St. Louis.

In looking at the rankings, there are several matchups I like for Buckley. He mentioned being interested in Gilbert Burns and that is a great fight. Other ones I really like are Geoff Neal or even a matchup with Michael “Venom” Page. Another one to watch out for his a rematch with Kevin Holland.

Holland and Buckley fought at 185 with Holland getting the knockout win. With them both being welterweights now and with both wanting to stay active, this fight could easily come together for UFC St. Louis in May. That’s the one I have my eyes on right now.

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