Saturday, January 22, 2022

Vicente Luque Unwilling To Face Gilbert Burns Even If Title Is Involved

#6-ranked welterweight Vicente Luque is breaking into the top of the division but admits there are other fights for him and Gilbert Burns, even if world titles are involved.

Over the years, the hard-hitting Brazilians have become close friends, and Vicente Luque has no interest in fighting friends and family. The rising welterweight is coming red-hot off a submission win against former champion Tyron Woodley. Specifically, Luque’s ability to mix up a versatile pace of wrestling and striking has marinated into a stiff challenge for any welterweight.

While Burns is coming off a brutal TKO loss to champion Kamaru Usman, Luque is excited to see his fellow teammate take on Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson at UFC 264.

Gilbert Burns, Stephen Thompson
Gilbert Burns, Stephen Thompson

Revenge is on the mind of the welterweight because Luque has already faced Thompson once before and it didn’t go his way. Also the Brazilian took a lot of damage to his nose against the crafty striking specialist but learned a lot of lessons while taking the loss.

Vicente To Help Burns With Thompson Fight

Having just competed about three weeks ago, Vicente Luque is happy to see his fellow teammate getting a shot at a former opponent who worked him over while standing up. The top-10 welterweight spoke about his excitement for his teammate’s upcoming fight (h/t BJPenn.com).

“It is crazy because I just fought a guy he fought and now it will be the other way around. This is why we always help each other,” Vicente Luque said to BJPENN.com. “I’ve fought Wonderboy and knows how he moves in there, so I will let Gilbert know everything I can for him to get the win. I will help him with whatever he needs and I think it is a good matchup for Gilbert.”

It seems Vicente Luque is confident he learned some tools to beat “Wonderboy,” even though he lost his fight against him in 2019. If Burns were to win the former title challenger could possibly be in line to face the champion once again. However, even if that happens, Vicente Luque admits that fighting his close friends and teammates is never going to happen.

“We have already said we won’t fight each other. We are more than friends, we are brothers,” Vicente Luque said. “Our families are super close and we have a relationship that is different than most teammates. We will figure something out. Both of us want to be champions and that is what we will work for. We both want each other to be champions. For now, there are many other guys we can fight.”

In the end, the talent pool inside the welterweight division is deep enough that there is no shortage of elite fighters for Luque and Burns to face. The problem is that they both sit around the top five of the division and soon there is no doubt fans will be clamoring for the style matchup.

For now, it seems that the possibility of the friends fighting is off the table, but Luque understands each of them wants to become a UFC champion. Therefore it will take a nuanced approach not to fight each other if they both continue to inch closer to the title. Currently, Burns is coming off a loss, and Luque a win, so the problem at least won’t present itself in the immediate future.

Do you have a problem with top fighters refusing to fight friends or training partners? Let us know your opinion below!

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Doug Murray
Doug A Murray is a freelance writer that contributes to a variety of websites. With experience in other sporting fields, his primary focus is on boxing and mixed martial arts.