UFC middleweight Joaquin Buckley shared a funny encounter with a St. Louis police officer after going viral on the internet in the last week.
Buckley became an overnight celebrity with his incredible spinning back kick KO over Impa Kasanganay at last weekend’s UFC Fight Island 5 card. The KO went viral and was even picked up by rapper Kanye West. Buckley was not well known coming into the fight, with his other lone appearance in the UFC being a KO loss to Kevin Holland. But with the win over Kasanganay, Buckley is now one of the most talked-about fighters in the sport today.
Speaking to UFC.com, Buckley explained how his newfound fame may have saved him from getting a ticket in St. Louis after recently arriving home from his stint on Fight Island. According to Buckley, he had his mask down on the Metrolinx train when he noticed two police offers to come towards him. Buckley joked that he didn’t have a ticket, either.
“In my head, I’m thinking he’s gonna ask for my ticket, which I didn’t have at the time,” he said.
Fortunately, Buckley said the police officers weren’t actually trying to bug him for his interactions, and instead they wanted to tell him they knew who he was.
“I thought I recognized you. You’re Joaquin Buckley,” Buckley said the officer told him.
“I thought I was gonna have a whole different type of situation. But he was the first person to recognize me. So that was pretty different. But besides that, nothing really special has changed in my life. Not yet at least.”
For Buckley, he isn’t used to this newfound fame. The humble middleweight said that while he knows more people are talking about him — the numbers show that millions have searched his name on Google — ultimately he says he is still the same person, and he wants to remain the same guy despite going viral.
“Everything’s been normal besides with technology and me being able to see the explosion of my following and the videos and the memes and everything of that nature. That’s crazy. But in the physical, real world, nothing much has changed,” Buckley said.
The middleweight prospect Buckley will make a quick return to the Octagon when he takes on undefeated Jordan Wright in November at UFC 255 in a newly-announced fight.
What do you believe the future is for Joaquin Buckley in the UFC?