While 2020 has been a rough year on most, Joaquin Buckley has certainly made the most of it and now wants to kickstart his 2021 campaign with by playing out a local rivalry.
Buckley followed up his KO of the year nominee of Impa Kasanganay with a second-round stoppage win over Jordan Wright at November’s UFC 255 event. “New Mansa,” who improved his promotional record to 2-1, used his time following his second straight finish to once again call out James Krause.
After his viral KO of Kasanganay in October, Buckley joined MMA Fighting’s What the Heck and called for a fight with Krause, but didn’t give a lot of context to it. Clearly, there was a story behind it.
“If James Krause wins his fight (against Claudio Silva), I might need to fight him, since he had some things to say on Instagram,” he said.
“However he wants to do it. He said I didn’t have no name. I’m here now.”
Krause would be victorious in his fight with Silva later that month on Fight Island and in a subsequent interview with MMA Fighting, he gave his side of the rivalry and was certainly open to taking a fight with Buckley. Krause stated that Buckley had a reputation of getting “kicked out of” multiple gyms in the area and that he hasn’t “heard a good word said” of the rising middleweight.
Buckley clearly heard those comments and isn’t taking too kindly to his name being allegedly besmirched by Krause.
“And that’s the thing: if he was speaking the truth, it would be what it is, but my man is out here preaching lies,” Buckley told MMA Fighting while appearing on What the Heck. “He’s just talking about stuff he has no clue about. My man never met me a day in his life but he’s talking about me like he knows me, and he’s just spreading rumors that other people are sharing with him at his gym.
“It is what it is. I’m helping him build up his name even more. He’s gained some followers off of this as well. But at the end of the day, we have to see each other—whether the UFC signs the fight up or not.”
Another point of contention from Krause was that he claimed Buckley called for a fight with one of his fighters in Trey Ogden, who has spent most of his career in the lightweight division. The Glory MMA and Fitness head coach didn’t look fondly on Buckley calling down a weight class or two.
Buckley was asked to give his side of it.
“I didn’t call out Trey Ogden,” Buckley said. “[He] put himself in that conversation. I do my homework on all fighters, and when I was calling out Jason Witt who was one of the regional guys, he was like No. 1 in the nation at 170, and I was trying to get back to 170 to fight him. Jason Witt would not reply. He would not say nothing, I was just always in his head, and then Trey Ogden—on social media—he jumped in there.
“I looked him up and was like, ‘Oh, you had two fights at 170 as well, you can get it too if your boy don’t want it.’ It’s just the business. I’m trying to fight. I hadn’t had a fight for a whole year. I’m trying to look for the best guys in general to get back in the field. But I’m glad things worked out the way that they did because look where we’re at now.”
In a recent Instagram post, Krause claimed that he had asked for the fight with Buckley on two different occasions. Buckley, who has spent most of his career in the welterweight division, is finding success at 185, so in a perfect world, he would like the fight with Krause to be in the middleweight division.
Buckley hopes to compete on the first PPV card of 2021, UFC 257 on Jan. 23. If Krause isn’t able to take a fight for that date, the 26-year-old will be happy to face anybody from Glory MMA.
“All of them. Every person at Glory MMA can get it,” Buckley stated. “Anybody that’s on the team with [James Krause] can get it.
“The UFC offered [Julian Marquez] the fight and he turned it down real quick because he didn’t think he was really gonna get it. He was just trying to put his name out there, trying to get another follow. But you’ve got to realize that sometimes that comes with a price. You said you wanted to fight, let’s fight if your boy don’t want to make it happen.”
In Krause’s social media post, he stated, essentially, that it’s him, or nobody from Glory MMA that will take the fight. Krause wants it, Buckley wants it, and if they can agree on a date and weight class, it seems like the perfect fight to make.
When it comes down to it, Buckley wants to fight Jan. 23, whether it’s against Krause, a member of his team, or anybody on the roster. Buckley, ideally, has the former at the top of his list.
“It’s whatever as long as I get a fight on that card. That’s perfect,” Buckley explained. “But the ideal person would be [Krause]. I want him to catch this work. He’s probably gonna blame this knee injury, he’ll say, ‘Well I don’t really fight at 185, let’s do it at 170,’ I don’t want to hear none of that noise. When you was talking heavy, you weren’t worried about all of that.
“So let’s do it at 185, and let’s do it Jan. 23. But if you want to have your boys take the work for you, I’ll do that too. So Julian Marquez can get it, Zak Cummings can get it, Jason Witt can get it. Anybody that works with you can get it, period. I want the whole Glory MMA camp. I want everybody. What did he say? It’s easy work? That would be easy work. It’s easy money.”