Facing off against the unanimous Knockout of the Year winner from 2020, Di Chirico knew the odds were against him heading into UFC Fight Island 7, especially after he had dropped three consecutive fights in a row. After a few opening exchanges, Di Chirico saw an opening where he launched a huge head kick that absolutely blasted Buckley and sent him crashing to the canvas in a heap as the fight came to a dramatic conclusion.
The official stoppage came at 2:12 into the opening round.
“Thank you guys, I’m so happy,” Di Chirico said while largely declining to do an interview after his victory.
When the fight started, all eyes were on Buckley to see what he might do next after his jaw-dropping spinning heel kick made him a household name just a few months ago. While he looked for another knockout, Di Chirico stayed patient in the pocket while avoiding Buckley’s tremendous power.
That’s when Buckley ducked down to presumably unleash another combination and Di Chirico answered with a powerful kick that ricocheted directly off his opponent’s head. Buckley fell to the ground and the referee rushed into stop the fight before any further damage was done.
Di Chirico then fell to his knees in celebration as he returned to the win column for the first time since 2018.
It was a much needed victory for Di Chirico, who was likely fighting for his job on Saturday while handing Buckley his second knockout in the UFC after falling to Kevin Holland in his short notice debut in 2020.