Joaquin Buckley and Antonio Arroyo are set to meet at UFC Fight Night 192 this Saturday, and the matchup promises fireworks.
Everytime Joaquin Buckley has entered the octagon thus far, fans have been subject to something worth the hype. Although he has been finished twice in his young UFC career so far, Buckley has more than made up for it with his memorable moments. Most fans will recognize the internet-shattering KO of Impa Kasanganay- a jump spinning side kick to the face from a foot caught by Kasanganay. This moment, often heralded as one of, if not the greatest KO ever, will forever be ingrained in mixed martial arts history. However it’s a shame that it overshadows Buckley’s following knockout of Jordan Wright, a Tyson-esk hook punch combo, as classic a knock out you could hope for.
His opponent on Saturday night, Antonio Arroyo will be coming in with a thirst for vengeance after losing two straight after an impressive two win string on the Contender series. In 2018 Arroyo was just 7-2 and slated to compete on the Brazilian version of Dana White’s Tuesday contender series. Although winning in unanimous fashion, he was unable to get the nod from the UFC, and returned for a second shot on the main American show. This time Arroyo would not leave it to a decision, snatching a choke in round 2. The following two losses were disappointing for the young contender so expect him to come in gunning to once again prove himself against Buckley.
Buckley vs. Arroyo betting odds
Arroyo will come in at +170 meaning an upset could return a total $270 to those willing to put down $100
- Buckley: -210
- Arroyo: +170
Buckley vs. Arroyo breakdown
Joaquin Buckley has two particular looks both from the southpaw stance. One, as a shorter and more stacked fighter in his 185lb division, he fights low with a high guard, looking for an explosive peek-a-boo boxing style. He will shift side to side on the feet bobbing up and down to feint and rip hooks as he explodes forward in an almost Mike Tyson-like fashion.
He enjoys a speed advantage often which carries this style, and he can usually beat his opponents to the punch, but those who have been able to keep him at distance while floating away from his explosion have had success countering him as he enters. Especially those who know how to kick the shorter man as he tries to find a way into the pocket.
The other look that Buckley will try, although on a rarer occasion is a more traditional martial arts style, watch him posture a bit taller and snap out his sidekick and lunging cross to the body.
One natural advantage that Buckley poses is because of his height, and in generally being smaller than most middleweights, when he finds himself pressing his opponents against the fence, he is already in position to win the head battle. Pressuring under his opponent’s chin with his forehead comes at Buckly basically standing with little effort allowing him an added ability to control position. Although he isn’t always successful at completing the takedown in this position, watch for him to choose his moment to break and land his hooks.
By comparison Arroyo is a far different striker, preferring a more point karate style stance, he will position himself sideways and light on the feet. With his height advantage of 4” and footwork, Arroyo’s style will do him well to avoid the boxing of Buckley. However, because his style involves a low guard, if complacent, Arroyo runs the risk of exposing his chin to Buckley’s impressive power.
In order to make the most of the style match up, Arroyo has to take special care not to over-commit his footwork. When he is dedicated to the jab and his high kicks especially he is good at maintaining his range. However there have been points where his short low kick and over stepping into his rear straight or hooks have left him too close, to the point where he even stiffles his own shots. This is specifically dangerous against Buckley because if you enter too close while staying tall with a low guard like Arroyo, you will be in perfect position for looping hooks.
Buckley vs. Arroyo Prediction
Buckley vs. Arroyo prediction
Between the two men they have twenty-one wins, only four of which have come by decision. This fight has a very high probability of ending before the final buzzer sounds.
However, I believe this may actually be a very good opportunity for the underdog. Arroyo is likely undervalued by the oddsmakers because he is yet to win in the UFC, however when a closer look is taken, this is due to smothering matchups against superior grapplers. I do not see Buckley coming in to out grapple Arroyo, and I see both men happy to test each other on the feet.
Buckley’s knockout power will always be a threat in any match up but If Arroyo can stay composed and disciplined with his game plan and maintain the distance I think he can catch Buckley coming in at some point.
Prediction: Antonio Arroyo by KO