It was a striking masterpiece from Buckley who landed at will throughout the fight but it was a series of hard left hands that did the most damage with Duraev’s eye closing completely between rounds, which forced the doctor to call a stop to the contest. The official end came at 10 seconds into the third round with Buckley getting the TKO win.
“This is war when we come out here in this cage,” Buckley said. “No animosity, I love that boy, he’s my brother. Just hard work, hard grind, going back to that blue collar time.”
Aggressive from the jump, Buckley was coming after Duraev with everything in his arsenal and he blasted the Russian with a huge head kick early that had the crowd reacting rather loudly. Duraev survived and then delivered a head kick of his own that Buckley absorbed as the middleweight continued throwing bombs at each other.
Sticking the fundamentals paid off late in the opening round with Buckley snapping off a straight punch that wobbled Duraev momentarily while also putting a large mouse under his right eye.
Buckley continued dishing out damage with a series of hard left hands that had Duraev hurt and desperate to get a takedown to avoid any more punishment. Midway through the second round, Duraev’s left eye was nearly closed with severe swelling that had to nearly eliminate his vision from that side.
Duraev survived by dragging fight down to the ground but it was short lived success as Buckley just kept moving and scrambling until he got back to his feet. Just before the horn sounded, Buckley connected with another stinging left hand that sat Duraev down as he looked confounded at the repeated blows he just could not block.
The ringside physician came into the cage to look at Duraev as the third round was getting underway and it was obvious that his eye left him severely compromised. The fight was called off with Buckley earning the victory, which was his third win in a row overall while moving to 5-1 in his past six fights.