It wasn’t a win, but it wasn’t all bad for Royce White in his mixed martial arts debut Friday night.
The former NBA first-round draft pick lost a unanimous decision to Temple football alumnus Daiqwon Buckley, 30-27, 29-28, 29-28, during LFA 120 at Mystic Lake Casino Hotel in Prior Lake, Minn.
White, who still plays for the Big3 3-on-3 league and began training martial arts for the first time in early 2019, looked most comfortable in the standup phase but struggled with getting stuck in the clinch throughout the 15-minute bout. On the plus side, he showed a crisp jab and a knack for getting up off the ground from his back — often a source of trouble for those new to grappling.
Buckley, a former Baltimore police officer who was nine inches shorter with a 10-inch reach disadvantage, overcame the physical attribute puzzle by wading with takedown attempts and bullying White in the clinch.
Neither man was close to securing a finish, but there was little doubt as to the winner at the end of the third and final round.
Legacy Fighting Alliance CEO Ed Soares told The Post ahead of the fight that the promotion would remain interested in bringing White back for future fights, win or lose.