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Joaquin Buckley announces UFC hiatus; eyes a move to welterweight

American MMA professional Joaquin Buckley, who contests in the middleweight division of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), is not settling for what he has and wishes to go further up the ranks soon. He hopes to join the 170 pounds division, which is for welterweight fighters and announced a short little break from his UFC career to prepare for that big move. 

Buckley is keen on reaching the highest level in the heavyweight championship and recently during an Instagram live session, he announced that he will be off for a little time to prepare himself and might be away for up to five months. “New Mansa” as he is popularly referred to, is currently having a 15-6 record since turning professional in 2014. 

Buckley currently fights in the 185 pounds division where he has had reasonable success but also struggled multiple times. He also had a three-match winning streak at once which garnered him a lot of attention in the world of UFC. 

However, in recent times, he suffered a few setbacks that left him dismantled. This includes the brutal second-round defeat at UFC 282 against 14th-ranked contender Chris Curtis. Curtis was on top of his game on the day and handed Buckley some solid blows, leading to the American getting knocked out in no time. 

Buckley also said in an interview that he considers welterweight to be a more natural category for his style of play and it comes as no surprise considering the fact that he began his career in that division. Formerly a part of the Bellator MMA and Legacy Fighting Alliance, Buckley is confident of reaching top heights if he can throw down his weight and enter the welterweight division. 

Hailing from St. Louis, Missouri, Joaquin Buckley put together a terrific 10–2 record fighting for Shamrock FC, Bellator MMA, and LFA. It was during this time when he most notably faced Logan Storley on April 13, 2018, at Bellator 197. He lost the fight by unanimous decision but after two straight TKO wins in LFA, Buckley was signed to the UFC.