That was exactly the plan.
In the end, Buckley defeated Alhassan via split decision in a fight that didn’t go the way most expected in the main card opener at UFC Vegas 48.
Buckley explained his decision to make the viral star a part of his team.
“We just started brainstorming, what if I put this man in my corner? What type of impact would that make? After that, history was made on Feb. 19,” Buckley said on The MMA Hour.
“When everything started blowing up the way that it did, I reached out to him and was like, ‘Hey, would you be cool being in my corner?’ And he was like, ‘Yeah, I think we’ll pretty much blow up the internet,’ which we did. It went crazy.
“He was down from the get go,” Buckley continued. “Shout out to Dale Brown. He’s a cool dude, he gets a lot of negativity about the things that he’s doing but he’s legit in the self defense and security game [for] like 26 years. He was a military paratrooper, he knows what he’s talking about. He’s been in the game for a minute.”
Buckley had worked with Brown before in Detroit and posted video that garnered a lot of attention. A friendship and mutual respect grew between the two individuals in the subsequent months.
While other fighters on the UFC roster might question Brown’s tactics, Buckley is challenging those individuals to find out for themselves.
“His gym is open for anyone that wants to come in,” Buckley explained. “He doesn’t turn away anybody. There’s a lot of fighters talking about how they want to beat him up, they want to test these tactics. You all can go see him. Just go down there. Go to Detroit, you got to have that money, though. Can’t go in there for free.
“You can definitely use these [moves] on streets. Whatever it takes, whatever you got to do to get yourself out of a certain situation — eye gouge, elbows, joint manipulation — those things will work in an actual fight, definitely when you’re talking about someone who has never trained in combat.”
After suffering a knockout loss to Alessio Di Cherico in January 2021, Buckley has bounced back with consecutive victories, including a third-round TKO win over Antonio Arroyo at September’s UFC Vegas 37 event.
Following the victory, Buckley said he didn’t feel as if the bout between he and fellow knockout artist Alhassan was promoted the way it should have been. “New Mansa” admits putting Brown in his corner was to help elevate the promotion of the bout more than anything, and while Brown stayed silent in the corner between rounds, Buckley said he did offer some words of wisdom ahead of the bout.
“It was really just to get attention for the fight, but he did give me some good advice,” Buckley said. “It was more mental, telling me I had more commitment than the fighter that is fighting me, that I put it more work, and that what he was trying to take away from [me] is [my] life. ‘He doesn’t want to just take this win, he wants to take your life away from you. The way that you’re trying to build your future, he’s trying to remove that and re-write history. Forget all that. We worked too hard for all of that.’”