Exclusive – Joaquin Buckley Reacts to Conor McGregor Call-Out Backlash, Reveals Offers to Fight Ian Garry and MVP

Buckley sticks by his McGregor call out, believing it did exactly what he intended it to do.

Joaquin Buckley
Courtesy of @UFCNews on X

Joaquin Buckley is fresh off his fourth-straight win inside the Octagon. Unfortunately, all anyone is talking about is his cringey callout of Irish megastar Conor McGregor

Immediately following his unanimous decision victory over Nursulton Ruziboev at UFC St. Louis, ‘New Mansa’ made headlines when he called pretty much everyone in McGregor’s family a “hoe” during his unhinged post-fight interview. The call-out was immediately met with criticism from fighters and fans — something Buckley isn’t overly concerned with.

Speaking to Mike Owens in a MiddleEasy exclusive interview, Buckley made it clear that as long as people were talking, he accomplished his goal. 

“It did exactly what it was supposed to do,” Buckley said. “It was supposed to get people emotionally invested. Everybody loves Conor McGregor. He’s the most beloved fighter of all time because of what he did for the sport — as he should be. So I knew taking shots at him, Conor wouldn’t have to say anything to me. It was gonna be the fans so as long as they were enticed by it and clicking and commenting, it just makes that video more and more popular.

“Whether you call it the best or the worst [call out] doesn’t matter to me. That’s just your opinion.”

Conor McGregor will make his return to the Octagon on Saturday, June 29 — nearly three years removed from his disastrous trilogy fight with Dustin Poirier. Headlining UFC 303 during International Fight Week, the former two-division champion will square off with former Bellator MMA champion ‘Iron’ Michael Chandler. 

Offering his prediction for the long-awaited clash, Buckley said:

“Conor looks fresh, he looks cool. He looks sober leading up to this fight. Michael Chandler has always been a hard worker, he’s always been a dog, but I feel like just technique on the feet and Chandler acting like he’s not going to be wrestling, I could see McGregor spinning Chandler around.”

Joaquin Buckley Has Been Fielding Offers Since His Big Win in St. Louis

Closing in on the welterweight top 10, Joaquin Buckley is gearing up for a big step up in competition when he returns to the Octagon. Following his latest win, ‘New Mansa’ threw out Gilbert Burns as a potential future opponent. Responding on his podcast, ‘Durinho’ was more than happy to oblige, but according to Buckley, the one-time title challenger already has a yet-to-be-announced fight lined up. 

“He might have responded, but I think he has another fight,” Buckley said of Burns. “I’m not supposed to say anything, but he has another opponent and it’s not me.”

Though he’s only a couple of weeks removed from his win in Mound City, Buckley has already been fielding a slew of offers for his next fight. 

“They called me up with a name, but unfortunately that name has moved on to somebody else, so right now we’re just waiting,” Buckley said. “We’re waiting on a big name and a big call.”

He did acknowledge that a fight with Ian Garry was offered, but Buckley ultimately declined it due to the timing. However, ‘New Mansa’ made it clear that the name who “moved on” was not Garry.  

“They wanted [the fight with Garry] on the McGregor card,” Buckley added. “That would’ve been big, but I got my babies and stuff. Thought I’d kick it with them.”

According to Buckley, the UFC even reached out to him for a potential fight at UFC 304 when the promotion heads back to the UK in July. 

“I was supposed to fight in Manchester, but the person moved on,” Buckley added before non-verbally confirming that the opponent was supposed to be Michael ‘Venom’ Page.

While Buckley has found success inside the Octagon previously, winning three straight between 2021 and 2022, a switch has seemingly flipped with ‘New Mansa’ looking increasingly impressive in his last four outings.

Now on the cusp of a spot in the top 10, Buckley is embracing his new and much more disciplined mentality that dreams of one day strapping UFC gold around his waist.

“The shift was to take it seriously and become more disciplined,” Buckley said. “Damn near stoic. In a dark room by myself in my own head allowing myself to truly think about how can I change not only myself but the game that’s around me because I really feel like in mixed martial arts, people aren’t doing it right.

“They’re not putting anything into the game where they’re trying to innovate and I feel like all the things I’ve been working towards and been doing has been created from my mind and has helped me toward my success at welterweight.”

Watch the full interview below:


Published on May 24, 2024 at 2:16 pm
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