Just how bad was Albert Duraev’s eye when the doctor waved off his fight against Joaquin Buckley? Pretty bad based on new up close photos from ESPN.
Buckley and Duraev went back-and-forth early in the bout with both fighters landing massive head kicks on each other. But, it was Buckley who kept up the pressure and damage, hitting Duraev from all angles with kicks and punches, while avoiding Duraev’s attempts to turn the fight into a wrestling match.
A straight left punch near the end of the first round caught Duraev on the eye, which began to swell immediately. Through the second round it went from bad to worse, and between the second and third rounds the referee called in the doctor, who shut things down immediately.
And for good reason ... just take a look at Duraev’s mangled eye:
Duraev and Buckley were former sparring partners, and according to the UFC Austin commentary team, Buckley was unimpressed with Duraev calling him out and saying he’d be an easy opponent. While Buckley certainly fought like he had a grudge, after the win it was all love.
“It don’t stem from nothing, this is war when we come out here in this cage,” Buckley told Daniel Cormier. “We ain’t friends, we enemies. But, when the bell’s rung and the referee called the fight off, that’s when we get that love back, baby. So it’s all good, no animosity, I love that boy, he’s my brother.”
At the post fight press conference (watch it here), Buckley admitted he wished he’d had the chance to land another viral knockout.
“The doctor’s stoppage, it was cool, but I always want those viral knockouts and those viral moments, you know? That’s my biggest thing. So I’m glad the doctors stopped it, for him, and for his health. But, I wish he had brought in a little more pressure so I could have turned his lights off.”
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