Joaquin Buckley may have earned a $50,000 performance bonus for his sensational knockout against Impa Kasanganay last Saturday, but that hasn’t stopped him from returning to his day job at Walgreens pharmacy following his win.
Buckley’s spinning back-kick knockout has been heralded by most as the year’s most spectacular finish to a fight, but the 26-year-old middleweight isn’t letting his newfound fame distract him from his obligations, after he confirmed to Yahoo! Sports’ Kevin Iole that he has already returned to work at the pharmacy chain.
“I didn’t have a job, I was just working at the gym and then working out there. So my work was like my job, as in training,” Buckley explained.
“But then I realized I don’t have to train to extensively, every day. Because I used to train eight hours everyday, non-stop. But it’s just wear and tear on the body. So as long can train for two or three hours, I am good. And so now I got free time so I might as well be making money,” he said.
“I’m a shift lead so I run the night shift there. So I just make sure that everybody stays happy, man. You know, give them some points if they get mad.”
Buckley’s everyman approach to the fight game will be seen as a breath of fresh air to some, but others will no doubt conclude that a high-level athlete such as him shouldn’t necessarily require a job in addition to mixed martial arts in order to make ends meet, and highlights a common theme of low fighter pay within the UFC and other mixed martial arts organizations.
Given that Buckley is just two fights into his UFC career, he remains at the lower end of the UFC pay structure. In addition to the $50,000 performance bonus he received from the UFC brass following his knockout, Buckley also earned $10,000 to show and $10,000 to win, as well as a separate bonus of $3,500 per the official fighter pay disclosure.
Buckley will receive another opportunity to continue his climb up the middleweight ladder when he takes on the undefeated Jordan Wright at UFC 255 on November 21.