PARIS Joaquin Buckley is unexpectedly feeling the love from the French fans.
Its reached the idea that Buckley (15-4 MMA, 5-2 UFC) almost sees Saturdays UFC Fight Night 209 event as a house bout, despite dealing with MMA Factory Paris Nassourdine Imavov (11-3 MMA, 3-1 UFC) at Accor Arena in Paris. The card streams on ESPN+.
In accordance with Buckley, the French fans have already been giving him an outpouring of support, even willing him to knock out Imavov.
Im not in enemy territory, Buckley told reporters at Thursdays UFC Fight Night 209 media day. Ive been getting all of the love within France, in Paris. In all honesty with you, Nassourdine I dont understand how long hes been here, but I understand hes not born here.
Hes a Russian guy Dagestani. He sometimes carried the Russian flag, so many people from France, when I said his name, they didnt know who he was plus they explained, Go get him. Go knock him out. For France, thats what they explained. Ive first got it on video. So by the end of your day, I believe hes in enemy territory, not me.
Like Imavov, Buckley doesnt see their fight going the length.
Somebodys getting finished, Buckley said. So my thing is getting the skill, having experience, and just having a will. Whose will will be stronger and whos likely to break first may be the person thats likely to fall.
Whatever he gives me, whatever openings he shows, Im likely to expose and Im likely to go on it. But I really do see my hand getting raised by the end of your day.
For more on the card, visit MMA Junkies event hub for UFC Fight Night 209.