A former NBA first-round pick made his MMA debut on
Royce White, the No. 16 overall pick in the 2012 draft by the Houston Rockets, took on Daiqkwon Buckley LFA 120 Friday night at the Mystic Lake Casino Hotel in Prior Lake, Minn. In the end, Buckley spoiled White’s highly anticipated debut with a grinding style against a much larger opponent by picking up a unanimous decision victory in the heavyweight bout.
White used a lot of movement and a stiff jab early on as he took advantage of a massive reach advantage. Both men traded big shots with Buckley certainly getting the attention of his fellow pro debutante with a right hand before getting in close and landing a takedown. White was able to get back to his feet, but Buckley landed a second takedown before the first round horn sounded.
Buckley continued to try and pressure White in the second, but the former member of the Sacramento Kings started to open up a bit more with his striking. Buckley, a former Baltimore police officer, used a lot of clinch attempts against the fence, and landed a takedown as well.
It was clear Buckley’s intent in the third was to smother White against the cage and try and get the fight to the ground. A clinch battle against the fence took place for more than half the final stanza. White finally gained some separation, landing a hard right hand. Buckley noticed White taking a couple of backwards steps and went right back to the clinch before landing a big takedown in the final minute of the bout.
After the 15 minutes of action, one judge scored the bout 30-27, while the other two judges scored it 29-28 for Buckley in his first fight since a submission win in his final amateur fight in April 2017.