For nearly a round and a half, Impa Kasanganay's chin held up to the violent assault of Joaquin Buckley. So, when conventional strikes failed to get the finish, Buckley busted out an improvisational kick to score one of the most incredible knockouts in UFC history.
Buckley and Kasanganay came out throwing big power shots from the opening bell. Buckley got the better of the exchanges, landing clean shots to the chin of Kasanganay over and over, but not managing to drop his previously unbeaten foe.
In Round 2, Kasanganay caught a Buckley kick. Rather than pull his leg free, Buckley jumped and launched his right foot backward, connecting clean and knocking Kasanganay out cold.
"It was just open. I seen that he still had my legs, I was still able to balance with him grabbing my foot, so I just spun and kicked," Buckley said. "I aimed and I fire and it got the result we needed. I know I landed flush, I didn't know if I knocked him out though until he locked up and I said it was game over. I train it all the time, the only thing that was different was him holding my leg, but I practice it all the time."
At KSW earlier in the day, Mamed Khalidov scored a stunning jump-kick knockout, which was immediately put in the conversation for Knockout of the Year.
Even with as spectacular as Khalidov's knockout was, it's hard to see anything in this -- or any -- year topping Buckley breaking out an improvisational kick that looked straight out of an action movie.
"The boss just told me that he wants to give me all of the bonuses, so I'm welcome to it, I want all of it," Buckley said. "To be honest with you, it's surreal, a cloud came over my head when he was talking to me, so I couldn't hear nothing, but once that money came in, once he talked about that, then it cleared up a little bit. But it's awesome, it's surreal that Dana White came over and talked to me."
With the win, Buckley rebounded from a TKO loss to Kevin Holland in his previous fight, a bout that marked Buckley's Octagon debut.
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"It's been cool, the first two, three days were cool, but then after a while, just being trapped and isolated, I was ready to fight," Buckley said. "But it's a beautiful place, they welcomed us with great warmth, just kept us safe and kept us pleased, so it was wonderful."