Antonio Arroyo recognizes how much of a crossroads he’s in at this stage of his career.
Antonio Arroyo makes his return to the Octagon Saturday night at UFC Vegas 37 against viral KO sensation, Joaquin Buckley. Arroyo, a two-time Dana White’s Contender Series alumn, understands that he’ll have to write the ship if he wants to maintain stability as a UFC fighter moving forward.
Arroyo is 9-4 as a professional and is looking to snap a two-fight losing skid inside the Octagon. He last fought in December 2020, as he was on the wrong end of a unanimous decision loss to Deron Winn. Prior to the defeat, Arroyo had gone 5-1 in his last six outings, including back-to-back victories on DWCS after being brought back for a second chance on the show.
In his pre-fight media scrum, Arroyo broke down what this fight means to him and what a potential win could do for his UFC career as the years go on. He and Buckley will compete in the main card opener, as the entire card will air on ESPN+ beginning at 4 p.m. ET.
“You know, I have like four fights on my contract,” Arroyo said. “I lost the first two, so, it’s a very complicated time for me right now. I don’t want to lose my job [with the UFC]. I worked so hard to get here, to get to the UFC, to get the contract. I went [onto] the Contender Series twice just to get a contract with the UFC and I’m going all-in. That’s a fight that I cannot take risks. I cannot, like, I don’t have any more fat to burn, you know what I mean? So, yeah, the fight means a lot to me.”
Joaquin Buckley is famous for wheel-kick KO
Buckley is known for one of the most famous KOs in UFC history, as he landed a highlight-reel spinning back kick KO against Impa Kasanganay in Oct. 2020 when the UFC hosted a month-long stretch of events on Fight Island.
Arroyo loves Buckley’s fighting style and would like to do to Buckley what Buckley did to Kasanganay in a perfect world.
“Joaquin [Buckley] is like a highlight fighter,” Arroyo said. “I love that about him because I know he’s gonna come forward. He’s gonna try to knock me out as I will try to knock him out. He has, like, a lot of finishes. But eight of my nine wins were finishes too. Seven in the first round. It’s gonna be a fun fight. It’s gotta be.”
Will Arroyo deliver the goods or will Buckley send him packing? Saturday night will reveal the answer.