There have been a lot of dramatic and devastating knockouts in MMA history, but few were as remarkable and as emphatic as Joaquin Buckley’s spinning back kick to the head of Impa Kasanganay on Saturday at UFC Fight Island 5 in Abu Dhabi.
A little past the midway part of Round 2 of what had been an excellent middleweight fight, Buckley threw a left kick to the body that Kasanganay caught.
As Kasanganay held Buckley’s foot, Buckley pivoted and circled 360 degrees and when he came back to where he started, he kicked Kasanganay with his other foot squarely in Kasanganay’s face. Kasanganay did a dead fall backward and referee Kevin Sataki immediately waved it off.
UFC president Dana White, watching in his locker room in the back, said it erupted.
“We were just talking about whether we should give him all of the bonuses right now,” White told Yahoo Sports via telephone of Buckley.
The knockout ranks among the greatest finishes ever in MMA history. Among the best UFC/WEC finishes, it’s alongside Anthony “Showtime” Pettis’ showtime kick off the fence against Benson Henderson in the final WEC fight ever; Gabriel Gonzaga’s head kick KO of Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic; Edson Barboza’s head kick KO of Terry Etim; Uriah Hall’s spinning back kick KO of Adam Cella in “The Ultimate Fighter”; and Yves Edwards’ KO of Josh Thomson at UFC 49.
“The athleticism required to do what he did, that is crazy,” White said.
Buckley opened the fight strong, attacking Kasanganay with a flurry of punches and landed several hooks that hurt him.
But that was nothing compared to the finish.
“We drill to kill, but I never landed that in a fight before,” Buckley said in the cage after the win.
Few ever had done so. That one will be part of UFC highlight reels for years, if not decades to come.
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