UFC St. Louis Co-Main Event Preview and Prediction: Joaquin Buckley – Nursulton Ruziboev

Joaquin Buckley

Tomorrow night in the co-main event of UFC St. Louis, we will see a fun matchup in the welterweight division. St. Louis’ own Joaquin Buckley (18-6) will look to continue his remarkable run at welterweight when he takes on the surging Nursulton Ruziboev (34-8-2) who is dropping down from 185.

Starting out with Buckley, he has really turned things around since moving down to welterweight. Last May, he dropped down to 170 and he’s gone 3-0 with three dominant wins that has catapulted him into the rankings. His most recent win was the most impressive when he stopped Vicente Luque at the end of March.

Following that quick TKO win, Buckley insisted on fighting in his hometown. Buckley even made an appearance at the UFC 300 pre-fight press conference and asked if he could fight on the card. The promotion made it happened and now he takes on Nursulton Ruziboev.

Ruziboev made his debut made his octagon debut back in July and he’s finished both of his first two opponents in the first round. Ruziboev is very big even for 185 so it’ll be interesting to see him at welterweight. Granted, he has made lightweight a couple of times in his professional career.

UFC St. Louis Prediction

I really love the overall game of Nursulton Ruziboev. He has very good hands, great grappling, and he has very good submissions. He’s also a much bigger fighter and I think he has all the skills to win this fight. In fact, if this fight was at 185, I’d lean a little towards him in this matchup.

However, I really like Buckley in this spot. He has all the momentum in the world and I think he’s more motivated than ever to put on a helluva show at UFC St. Louis. I expect the power difference and the explosion to be the big difference. Ruziboev might be the more technical martial artist, but I expect Buckley’s power to take over here and I think he’ll score a second round finish which will light up the local crowd.

Prediction: Joaquin Buckley by TKO

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