May 10, 2024 1:02 PM
Ewan Lavender

MMA Preview – Joaquin Buckley vs Nursulton Ruziboev at UFC on ESPN 56

Click here for today’s sports betting tips from our expert analysts!


When is UFC on ESPN 56? Saturday 11th May, 2024 - 22:00 (UK)

Where is UFC on ESPN 56? Enterprise Center, St. Louis, Missouri (US)

Where can I get tickets for UFC on ESPN 56? Click here to buy tickets for UFC on ESPN

What channel is UFC on ESPN 56 on? TNT Sports 2

Where can I stream UFC on ESPN 56? TNT Sports subscribers can stream the fight online via the TNT Sports website and Discovery+

For viewers in the United States, the event will be shown live on ESPN+ and you can sign up for access as part of a Disney Bundle here!


Joaquin Buckley (18-6) has never looked better since finally dropping down to welterweight. He made the move after two losses at 185 lbs and then announced himself into the division by knocking out Andre Fialho (2023) with a beautiful head kick. He then outpointed Alex Morono (2023) and is now coming off the biggest win of his career knocking out the durable Vicente Luque (2024) at UFC on ESPN 54.

Nursulton Ruziboev (34-8-2(2)) has only just emerged onto the UFC scene but has quickly made a name for himself. He made his UFC debut off the back of winning the WEF middleweight title in Russia to stretch his streak to eight. His first two UFC outings could not have gone better starching Brunno Ferreira (2023) handing him his first loss and following that up by mercilessly TKOing Sedriques Dumas (2024).


Hats off to Buckley for accepting this fight. He thoroughly deserved a high-profile name after knocking out Luque but instead receives someone just as dangerous with no star power. That said, he will have all the confidence fighting in front of his home fans in St. Louis, Missouri.

Ruziboev is a beast everywhere and although he has only had a couple UFC bouts, he has had 46 fights at just 30 years of age. He is a big, rangy welterweight who is very dangerous from range. He is also a grappler by trade and will hunt a finish from anywhere.

Buckley is faster and more explosive. He also has brilliant takedown defence and the last wrestler he fought, he knocked out handing Albert Duraev his first loss in 11 fights. He has fought the better competition and is understandably the favourite.

However, if he does not respect the weaponry of the Uzbekistani, he will get humbled. If Ruziboev has the ego to stand and trade, we will back Buckley, but if adopts a more grappling heavy game plan mixing in his counter striking, we will lean towards the underdog who has the ability to drag him to the ground and cinch up a submission.

Prediction: Ruziboev via Submission

Value bet: Ruziboev to win

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