UFC middleweight Joaquin Buckley says U.S. President Donald Trump called Dana White after his viral KO, adding he still works at Walgreens.
Buckley knocked out Impa Kasanganay in stunning fashion at UFC Fight Island 5 with a spinning back kick right to the dome. Buckley’s knockout went viral, with celebrities such as Kanye West giving him a shoutout on social media. The knockout also earned Buckley his first official UFC victory and gave him a much-needed $50,000 bonus award.
Speaking to TMZ Sports after the big KO win, Buckley spoke about his newfound fame, mentioning that he even had Trump calling White to give him praise for his finish.
“Dana White told me personally thought the phone, funny enough I didn’t even know the phone number that popped up, I thought I was doing another interview. When Dana White had called me, I was like, ‘Hello?’ He was like, ‘Is this Joaquin?’ I was like, ‘Who’s this?’ He’s like, ‘This is Dana White, man.’ I was just shook. I was like, ‘Hey boss,'” Buckley said.
“But anyway, he was like, ‘Guess who called me?’ I said, ‘Who called you?’ He was like, ‘Donald Trump.’ I was like, ‘Oh man, that’s crazy.’ Donald Trump was just asking what he thought of the knockout because he’s never seen it. That was the biggest reach out, the president. That was pretty cool, not gonna lie,” Buckley said.
Despite having the president talking about him, the viral KO has not yet allowed Buckley the means to leave his job at Walgreens. Sure, the $50,000 bonus was helpful, but Buckly still hasn’t earned enough money to leave his job and train full time yet.
“I’m at Walgreens. I did work for Wal-Mart, though. I’m still employed by Walgreens. I gotta talk to my boss right now cause I was supposed to get back on Monday,” Buckley said.
“Do I wanna quit? It’s not about wanting to quit, but if I wanna take this sport as seriously now which I should. At the time, I wasn’t looking for this MMA career to be an extra career of mine. I was just looking to get extra money and save it and continue to do what I was doing. But now it’s actually lucrative for me to stay in the sport and get better at the craft now, so I might just have to move now. Not saying I want to move on, but better moves for me if I do.”
What do you think is next for Joaquin Buckley?