Newly-ranked No. 4 UFC welterweight contender Vicente Luque has turned his career around in the most astounding fashion possible.
The Brazilian talent debuted in the UFC back in 2015 with a record of 7-4-1, after going 1-1 on the show.
Prior to joining the show, two of those defeats came via split decision, and he even knocked out future light-heavyweight title challenger Thiago Santos back in 2012.
His victory on the show came over Strikeforce veteran Nathan Coy, who he submitted (anaconda choke) in round three, before losing a split decision to Hayder Hassan. Luque then lost his TUF finale bout to Michael Graves via unanimous decision, bringing his professional record to 7-5-1.
Following his TUF finale defeat however, Luque has gone 14-2 with an astounding 13 finishes.
His two defeats in that time come to No. 3 ranked Leon Edwards back in 2017 and No. 5 ranked Stephen Thompson back in 2019, both via unanimous decision.
This run included an initial four-fight win streak, securing two front choke finishes, as well as two first round KO’s, the most impressive of which came over Belal Muhammad, dispatching of him in just 79 seconds.
Luque is still the only man to ever finish Muhammad in MMA competition.
Next came the defeat to Edwards, bringing his record to 11-6-1, before he went on a six-fight win streak.
This was started off with a submission (D’Arce choke) finish of Niko Price, followed by four-straight knockout victories, and finished with a split decision victory over Mike Perry, his only decision victory inside the octagon, and just the second of his career.
Stephen Thompson then defeated him, before going on his more recent win streak, improved to four-straight last Saturday at UFC 265.
In his last four fights, Luque has defeated Price (TKO) again, Randy Brown (KO), former four-time UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley (D’Arce choke), and now Michael Chiesa (D’Arce choke).
This improved Luque’s professional record to 21-7-1, which is quite astounding.
After opening up his career with a lackluster record of 7-5-1, having 13 fights and only having won seven of them, to winning 14 of his next 16 as he’s fighting better competition, only losing to the current No. 3 & No. 5 ranked contenders, it’s just remarkable.
Now, Luque has had to face some late-notice replacements at times, a couple of them, but he’s consistently finishing fights. He’s just as dangerous on the mat as he is on the feet, and his striking is about as dangerous as it gets.
Luque has done a stellar job at perfecting the basics, then turning them into powerful strikes and making them effective, that’s what he does. Not to mention his unforgiving pace, he’s always in his opponents grill walking them down, and he’s as durable as they come.
He knows how to win fights, plain and simple, and almost always does so in devastating fashion.
Luque now has eight Performance of the Night awards, and has been given one in his last three outings.
Who would you like to see Vicente Luque face next?
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I became a fan of combat sports when I was 12 years old. I was scrolling through the channels and landed upon versus, where WEC was televised. Urijah Faber fought Jens Pulver for the second time that night. That’s the first fight I saw, and the fight that got me hooked on the sport. Since then, the sport has grown so rapidly, and my goal is to enlighten everyone on what’s going on in the sport today.