Friday, December 2, 2022

Vicente Luque Happy To Now Be Ranked Below Michael Chiesa

UFC welterweight contender Vicente Luque says he welcomed the ranking switch which saw him drop behind his upcoming opponent Michael Chiesa.

Luque and Chiesa are set to go toe-to-toe this weekend at UFC 265. The Brazilian will be looking to end the 33-year-old’s winning streak at four and, in doing so, extend his own to the same number.

Since a defeat to Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson in 2019, Luque has looked back to his best. A trio of stoppages, which includes victories over Niko Price, Randy Brown, and, most recently, a first-round submission win against former champion Tyron Woodley, has brought the 29-year-old back into championship contention.

Despite at one point being ranked above “Maverick” in the division, Luque strangely saw his top-five place on the welterweight ladder taken away when the rankings were updated following the UFC 264 pay-per-view last month. That’s despite neither man competing at the event, and the most notable 170-pound action on the card pitting Gilbert Burns and “Wonderboy” together, both of whom are above Luque and Chiesa.

In an interview with John Hyon Ko for Sportskeeda, “The Silent Assassin” laughed about the random and confusing position switch with with his upcoming opponent.

“I saw that, and it was funny. I don’t what happened with the fights (at UFC 264) that that was the outcome in the moves of the division.”

But Luque added that he doesn’t mind being ranked below Chiesa leading into their main card fight on August 7. The Brazilian said he’s pleased to have the chance to beat somebody in the top-five now.

“I even like that, because I’m fighting now somebody above me, somebody in the top-five, so it’s great. Great fight for me,” said Luque.

Luque, who now sits as the #6-ranked welterweight, will be aiming to jump right back into the top-five and climb closer to a potential championship meeting with Kamaru Usman in the near future. That’s if “The Nigerian Nightmare” successfully defends his title against Colby Covington at UFC 268. Having not fought either man, Luque will be relishing the chance to earn a spot opposite the victor.

Do you think Vicente Luque deserves a title shot if he can extend his winning streak to four against Michael Chiesa at UFC 265?