If Joaquin Buckley can claim the victory he envisions at UFC St Louis, he sees no reason as to why people could not see him as being a future world champion. 

Buckley takes on Nursulton Ruziboev in the co main event of the promotion’s return to the 30-year-old’s hometown, with Heavyweights Derrick Lewis and Rodrigo Nascimento squaring off in the main event. 

From the second the card was announced, ‘New Mansa’ made it extremely clear that he would love to feature on the card. Speaking to the media prior to the contest, Buckley said that he would have been willing to face anyone in order to compete in front of a home crowd. He said:

“It had nothing to do with the opponent. Obviously, they had to find somebody that wasn’t even a Welterweight fighter to get on here so for me, it was just an opportunity to actually being able to fight. So with Nursulton I don't know if he's going to make the weight, but it won't even matter. I've already adjusted my mindset that no matter what he steps on the scale as, as long as we got a dancing partner, as long as I got an opponent, we good.

“Gonna knock this boy out come May 11.”

With the bout marking Buckley’s first return in a long time to St Louis, ‘New Mansa’ is looking to put on a show for his home town crowd and give them a performance they won’t forget in a hurry. He said: 

“So right now, having the energy of my hometown, having my family out, you know, watching me. And it's been years since they watched me laugh, since last time I fought in St Louis for Bellator back in the day.

“And I feel like now that I get the opportunity to fight in my city I got to turn up. I got to do the most, you know, what people expect, right? They want that viral moment. And I feel like we're going to get that.

Buckley sees bout as a full circle moment and although already being extremely well known for his viral knock out of Impa Kasanganay, the 30-year-old believes a win against tough opposition such as Ruziboev can really establish him as a future world champion. 

“Everything that I've envisioned and dreamt about before I even got to the UFC is now finally coming true. And what I really believe is that this is going to be the fight to turn, you know, my career around. Everybody talks about that kick. You know, it's one thing to be known for it as in my face, but I believe that people will see me as a future world champion after this fight.”