top of page

Nursulton Ruziboev Makes a Stunning UFC Debut and Prepares for Welterweight Challenge Against Joaquin Buckley this Saturday

Nursulton Ruziboev UFC
Black Belt Plus

Last July, not many knew of Nursulton Ruziboev when he stepped in on short notice for his first UFC fight. Coming from Uzbekistan, the tall middleweight filled in for Abdul Razak Alhassan against Brazil's Brunno Ferreira. Despite his vast experience and numerous finishes, Ruziboev was an enigma due to limited exposure against well-known opponents or in mainstream regional promotions.

Training at Marquez MMA in Philadelphia hinted at his potential, which he confirmed by securing a victory in just 67 seconds during his debut, showcasing that he was indeed UFC material.

Reflecting on his journey, Ruziboev shared, “Before joining UFC, I would watch the fights and wonder why I wasn’t part of it, given I could finish these fighters. I knew I had the ability to get finishes and I was ready to prove it.”

He lived up to his words by quickly defeating Ferreira with a precise right hand, following a counter to a low kick. His second UFC fight saw him extend his winning streak to 10 after a victory over Sedriques Dumas in the first round at an event in Atlantic City last March.

This rapid ascent has brought him back to the cage quickly, this time in a co-main event against Joaquin Buckley in St. Louis. Ruziboev is dropping to welterweight, where he feels more natural and sees a promising future. “I barely cut weight at middleweight, so moving down for this fight was an easy decision. Though I’m open to fighting in either division depending on the opportunities,” he explained.

His training environment at Marquez MMA, surrounded by UFC talents like welterweight Sean Brady and middleweights Andre Petroski and Joe Pyfer, has been pivotal. “Training with these guys has greatly impacted my career. Joe Pyfer, in particular, has been a great sparring partner,” Ruziboev praised.

Facing Buckley, who is returning to welterweight after a mixed record at middleweight, presents a challenging yet exciting matchup. Buckley, known for his striking and recent wins, including a notable victory over Vicente Luque, brings a strong hometown presence which Ruziboev is ready to counter. “I’ve fought in my opponent’s hometown before, so I’m prepared for any situation,” he stated confidently.

Ruziboev aims not just to win but to make a significant statement. “I’m ready for all three rounds, but I plan to finish it in the first, Inshallah,” he declared, looking ahead to climbing the welterweight ranks and setting sights on UFC 302 in Newark.

This matchup promises excitement, showcasing two skilled strikers in a fight that’s likely to captivate UFC fans.

bottom of page