Luque was last in action at UFC 265 earlier this month. In a clash of top welterweight contenders, the Brazilian faced Michael Chiesa, who was ranked fifth heading into the pay-per-view, and had built a four-fight winning streak after returning to 170 pounds in 2018.
In a frantic three-and-a-half minutes, Luque was taken to the ground by Chiesa, who is widely regarded as one of the best wrestlers in the UFC, and was on the receiving end of a number of submission attempts. But after defending well, “The Silent Assassin” flipped the script and locked in a tight D’arce choke, forcing “Maverick” to tap.
Having told MMA News that he’d be a problem for Chiesa on the ground as well as the feet, Luque certainly delivered on his pre-fight prediction inside Houston’s Toyota Center.
Having jumped back into the top-five and extended his winning streak, which includes a submission victory over former champion Tyron Woodley, to four, Vicente Luque is looking to enter the Octagon with the welterweight champion soon.
The 29-year-old has even expressed his willingness to serve as backup for the next title fight in the weight class. In an interview with TMZ Sports, Luque revealed that his current plan is to stay ready in case of an illness or injury for either Usman or Covington.
“I think that would be something interesting. Even if I’m not, you know, officially a backup, I do plan to stay ready. And, possibly, you know if something, I hope nothing happens, but if something happens, I can step in there and save the day.”
If he isn’t required for that date, Luque has his eyes on a number of other welterweight names, including Nate Diaz, whom the Brazilian has called out multiple times in recent months. He also suggested that a rematch with Leon Edwards, who is unbeaten in 10 fights, could be on the cards.
“Leon Edwards could be a guy, you know, a rematch against him could be something that would interest me. Also, a super fight against a guy like Nate Diaz, which I’ve called out a couple of times. That also would be a fight that would interest me.”
While Luque looks to do what he can to remain as close as possible to the 170-pound mountaintop, fellow contender Colby Covington will look to dethrone “The Nigerian Nightmare” at the second time of trying.
While their rematch has no official date, it’s expected to headline the UFC 268 PPV in November. The event is being targeted as the promotion’s return to Madison Square Garden in New York City.
Who do you think will win the UFC 268 main event? Kamaru Usman or Colby Covington?