Just weeks earlier, Buckley was punching the clock at Walgreens when he got the call to fill in on short notice against Kevin Holland. It was a stressful few days and Holland would go home with the win, but Buckley looked good enough to get a quick turnaround a month later versus the previously undefeated Kasanganay. The rest, as they say, is history. But having the viral MMA clip of the era and a new visibility in the sports world has done little to alter the existence of the St Louis middleweight.
“Not as much as everybody thinks,” he says, explaining that most of the attention lives on social media, not in his home. “Because everything that’s going on with COVID, I’ve got to stay in the house. If I’m leaving the house, I’m going to training or going to work. Really it’s just been training, being disciplined and staying in the crib. Taking care of my baby.”
Ah yes, fatherhood. His son arrived shortly after his UFC debut, cementing 2020 forever in his heart.
“Its been a beautiful time for me, even with everything that’s going on with COVID. I was still able to have light with my son coming here, which is my biggest blessing over everything, getting signed with the UFC and then having the craziest knockout of all-time. It’s just all back-to-back hits. It’s a blessing. I ain’t ever going to forget this year.”