Joaquin Buckley vs. Albert Duraev
The Moody Center, Texas, produced one of the most memorable fights in the UFC middleweight history. Joaquin Buckley defeated Albert Duraev at the Moody Center to register his 15th win in his mixed martial arts career.
Buckley demonstrated his formidable MMA skills as he cruised through the rounds, landing brutal strikes to overcome Duraev with an outstanding performance in Austin, Texas.
Duraev had few answers against the American fighter, as Buckley landed his strikes at will throughout the fight. Buckley’s left-hand strikes were intimidating, delivering most of the damage to Duraev.
The impact was so severe that the official medical professional had to stop the fight as the Russian fighter’s eyes could not take the heat.
Although Duraev wanted to continue with the fight, the official statement ended the match in the third round, declaring Buckley as the winner with a TKO.
Buckley and Duraev before the match
Although Saturday’s middleweight match witnessed Buckley destroying Duraev, the two MMA fighters once trained together for the same side. Buckley and Duraev had trained together and shared a lot of fighting techniques during that period.
In an interview with MMA Junkie, Buckley praised Duraev for his amazing MMA skills and further elaborated that his training alongside Duraev has given him more confidence.
Buckley further added that Duraev has an excellent grappling technique and would rely on his approach to take down opponents with a flash. However, Buckley believed that he knew his positions and which stance would be effective against the Russian MMA fighter.
The American fighter further added that Duraev would try his best to use his grappling technique early in the match. While Duraev can be dangerous as a grappler, Buckley believed that if he maintained his positions, he could use his kicks and punches to gain the upper hand.
On the other hand, Duraev was keen to defeat his former training partner and maintained that his grappling technique was superior to that of Buckley. However, Buckley landed some brutal punches to batter the Russian fighter to force a technical knockout.
As the match progressed
Since Buckley had a clear plan of avoiding the grappling attempts from Duraev, he jumped into the act early, going after his opponent from the onset. Buckley kept Duraev on the back foot with his kicks and punches to force his opponent to play defensively.
The Austin crowd didn’t have to wait long as Buckley landed a perfect head kick early in the first round, which shocked the Russian fighter. However, Duraev survived the vicious blow and managed to return the favor with a head kick.
Unfortunately, Duraev’s attempt didn’t impact Buckley’s aggression as the American fighter continued his assault, throwing kicks and punches at his Russian opponent.
The wobbling first-round punch from Buckley
Besides landing a vicious head kick on Duraev, Buckley struck his opponent with a straight punch that left Duraev wobbled. The impact left a large bump under Duraev’s right eye, making him stunned for a moment.
Buckley’s plan of sticking to the basics allowed him to gain more control over the match as he hurt Duraev multiple times throughout the first round. Duraev tried to secure a takedown to calm the situation and catch some breath.
However, Buckley avoided the counterattack and continued his dominance with a series of body kicks and hand combinations.
Duraev’s attempt at redemption
With Buckley throwing out all his abilities to end the fight, Duraev could only manage to prolong his defeat in the second round. The Russian fighter had no answer for the onslaught and had to rely on his grappling technique to avoid further damage.
On the other hand, Buckley dished out more damage with his left hand throughout the second round, and it looked like Duraev could be out any moment.
With less than three minutes left in the second round, Duraev could barely open his left eye, which received the most hits from the American fighter. It seemed like Duraev was playing with one eye and had to survive a couple of minutes to take the fight to the next round.
Duraev managed to secure a takedown only to allow his opponent to get back on his feet. Buckley closed the second round with a stinging left strike, increasing Duraev’s misery.
End of misery
Buckley’s consistent blows had damaged Duraev’s face and hope as he could not defend himself owing to the blocked vision. The Russian fighter looked confounded as the official physician rushed inside the octagon to check his condition.
Although Duraev showed intentions to continue the fight, the doctor couldn’t allow the fighter to enter the third round. Duraev’s left eye had swelled so much that it was impossible for him to defend on one side.
The situation looked down and dusted for the Russian fighter as the official physician called off the fight. Buckley’s strategy to stick to the fundamentals had paid off as he secured his third consecutive win.
The official decision came early in the third round ending Duraev’s misery, who could have incurred more damage if the fight had continued.
Buckley appreciated his opponent’s will to continue the fight and confessed that Duraev would always be his brother. However, the American fighter admitted that when he enters the octagon, he considers it a war even if the opponent is his close ally.
The victory takes Buckley’s win tally to 15 with 11 knockouts out of his total 19 matches. The result also marks Buckley’s improved performance as he now looks like a well-conditioned and dangerous middleweight fighter.
Final result: Joaquin Buckley defeated Albert Duraev via TKO to secure his third consecutive win.
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