The machine of completions has reached its maturity and containing his fight for the title will be very difficult. Vicente Luque made the leap in quality and at 29 he seems like a great threat to the 170-pound monarch.
His former teammate Kamaru Usman has been absolutely dominant since stripping Tyron Woodley of the belt and has reached the height of his abilities since moving from Sanford MMA, where he trained with Luque and Gilbert Burns, to be trained by Trevor Wittman. For now he has a fight for the belt against Colby Covington, who will have to improve his strategy if he wants to beat him this time.
Luque, of Brazilian-Chilean origin, seems to have the necessary resources to be crowned against either of them, but from what he declared after beating Michael Chiesa at UFC 265, his main intention is to fight against Usman.
Unlike Nate Diaz, who practically ignored him last year when he submitted Woodley in the same way he did with Chiesa, this time the champion responded immediately on social networks, knowing that it is a real challenge.
Usman has been so dominant that only someone who knows him well and can finish the fight with a single move is capable of threatening him.
Luque has power in his hands and many more resources in his hitting to finish anyone, in addition to the great jiujitsu he has developed in his years of training with Burns. Also in his corner is Henri Hooft, who today trains some of the best welterweight in the world in Florida and was Kamaru’s corner manager for the fastest growing part of his career. A mix that can get you in trouble.
Since losing to Stephen Thompson in 2019, he has come back on a four-game win streak, two by knockout and the last two by submission. None of the contenders within the ‘top 5’ has that finishing ability, with 19 fights finished before the final bell.
The UFC welterweight champion responded immediately. pic.twitter.com/FUINJcKXko
– ESPN MMA (@espnmma) August 8, 2021
Vicente is not the most popular peeler or salesman in the division, he is far behind Jorge Masvidal or Nate Diaz, but unlike his partner Burns, who has just defeated ‘Wonderboy’ Thompson, Masvidal or Díaz, Luque has not lost with the current champion, who seeks new challenges and had to take the fight with Covington in the absence of a new name in the category.
Before naming him the next challenger, it will be difficult for him to skip over Leon Edwards, who has a 10-fight streak without losing and that includes the victory over Luque in 2017. A rematch between the two could be ideal to leave no doubt.