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Joaquin Buckley makes return to the Octagon against Alessio Di Chirico

UFC middleweight Joaquin Buckley is set to make his return to the Octagon against Alessio Di Chirico early next year on UFC Fight Island.

MMAjunkie.com was the first to confirm that Buckley vs. Di Chirico will take place on January 16, 2021, on the undercard of the UFC Fight Night: Max Holloway vs. Calvin Kattar event. That is the UFC’s first event of the new year, so the promotion is looking to keep Buckley busy after his star-making year in 2020. After scoring back-to-back knockouts in his last two fights, Buckley looks poised for a monster year in 2021, as well.

Buckley (12-3) had a big year in 2020. After scoring a knockout win in LFA in July, the 26-year-old Buckley was signed by the UFC and was knocked out by Kevin Holland in his short-notice Octagon debut. After losing that fight in devastating fashion, Buckley bounced back in a big way when he scored the “Knockout of the Year” for his incredible spinning back kick KO over Impa Kasanganay in October. Buckley then made another quick return to the Octagon in November and he knocked out Jordan Wright to win another 50k bonus.

Di Chirico (12-5) is a 31-year-old Italian fighter who has been on the UFC roster since 2016. After losing a decision in his promotional debut, Di Chirico went on to win three of his next four fights, including a KO win over Oluwale Bamgbose in 2017 that won him his lone UFC bonus for “Performance of the Night.” Di Chirico then beat Julian Marquez in his next fight but losing his last three fights in a row, to Holland, Makmud Muradov, and to Zak Cummings, all by unanimous decision. Di Chirico will look to snap that losing skid and get back into the win column when he takes on Buckley on Fight Island early next year.

Who do you think wins, Joaquin Buckley or Alessio Di Chirico?

This article appeared first on BJPENN.COM