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Joaquin Buckley stops Vicente Luque

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Joaquin Buckley picked up the biggest win of his UFC career thus far with an impressive stoppage of Vicente Luque.

The welterweight bout was the UFC on ESPN 54 co-main event at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, N.J. Buckley (18-6 MMA, 8-4 UFC) was patient early, but gradually ramped up his offense until he stopped Luque (22-10-1 MMA, 15-6 UFC) at 3:17 of Round 2.

The opening round was spent on the feet with the explosive welterweights searching for openings. Buckley worked from the outside, darting in and out with strikes, while Luque stayed light on his feet from the center, looking for counters. It was a relatively even first round.

Buckley unleashed flying attacks early in Round 2, connecting with a nice knee. A blitz of punches a few moments later caused Luque to cover up against the fence, but did not appear hurt when he returned to the center of the cage. However, Buckley started to sit down on his punches, connecting with a couple of flush left hands.

A Luque takedown attempt was easily reversed by Buckley, who then postured up and began raining down hard ground and pound. The referee stepped in closer and closer as Buckley continued the onslaught. Eventually, the barrage was stopped and Buckley scored the TKO finish.

Buckley may have found his true home at welterweight. The former middleweight made the move after a pair of setbacks in 2022. However, he moved to 170 in 2023, and has since won three straight fights, with a promotional ranking likely to follow this result.

The UFC-ranked No. 11 welterweight Luque entered on the heels of a victory over former lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos, but failed to keep the momentum going.

Up-to-the-minute UFC on ESPN 54 results include:

  • Joaquin Buckley def. Vicente Luque via TKO (punches) – Round 2, 3:17
  • Chris Weidman def. Bruno Silva via unanimous decision
  • Nursulton Ruziboev def. Sedriques Dumas via knockout (punches) – Round 1, 3:18
  • Kyle Nelson def. Bill Algeo via TKO (punches) – Round 1, 4:00
  • Chidi Njokuani def. Rhys McKee via split decision (28-29, 30-27, 30-27)
  • Nate Landwehr def. Jamall Emmers via knockout (punch) – Round 1, 4:43
  • Virna Jandiroba def. Loopy Godinez via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)
  • Julio Arce def. Herbert Burns via TKO (punches) – Round 2, 2:00
  • Dennis Buzukja def. Connor Matthews via TKO (punches) – Round 3, 0:22
  • Ibo Aslan def. Anton Turkalj via TKO (punch) Round 3, 1:32
  • Jacob Malkoun def. Andre Petroski via TKO (strikes) – Round 2, 0:39
  • Caolan Loughran def. Angel Pacheco via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-26)

For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC on ESPN 54.

Be sure to visit the MMA Junkie Instagram page and YouTube channel to discuss this and more content with fans of mixed martial arts.

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