John Gooden reflects on Joaquin Buckley's 'real life ninja' knockout
ABU DHABI – Just like the whole world, John Gooden was taken by surprise when Joaquin Buckley landed one of the most incredible knockouts in UFC history.
Gooden was part of the broadcast team that called Buckley’s fight vs. Impa Kasanganay at UFC on ESPN+ 37 this past weekend at Flash Forum on Yas Island, where Buckley scored a highlight-reel spinning back-kick knockout in the second round.
Buckley (11-3 MMA, 1-1 UFC) called it “Wakanda style,” but Gooden went with “real-life ninja stuff,” a reaction that he naturally projected in the moment.
“I’m not sure anyone knew we were going to get a whole night like that, and that moment was bonkers,” Gooden told reporters, including MMA Junkie, on Tuesday. “Just talking about it with (Daniel Cormier), I felt like I was calling a fight for a boxer. Buckley was set up like a boxer, and I was thinking of ways to try and put that across, and that kick comes. It’s not like it can be scripted, but in my mind, the train of thought was not down that route at all, so everything that you saw was completely organic from a broadcast perspective.”
In a line that will likely be repeated numerous times, Gooden plans on turning his “real life ninja stuff” quote into a brand that will contribute to a good cause of Buckley’s team’s choosing.
“I think I’m gonna make a T-shirt, and I’m going to speak to Buckley’s manager and see what charity he would like,” Gooden said. “Like a share of those things over to because I’d never do anything like that; someone thought it might be an idea, and yeah I think that would be quite a cool gesture so … sell that, and whatever charity he wants, we’ll put a share to one of those.”
To hear the complete interview with Gooden, check out the video above.