UFC rising welterweight Vicente Luque has shown interest in fighting the former interim champion Colby Covington as other fighters are already booked.
Luque (20-7-1 MMA, 13-3 UFC) took another promising step forward in his career at UFC 260 in March when he submitted former UFC champ, Tyron Woodley, in the first round of a “Fight of the Night” bout. He’s now won nine of his past 10 and intends to remain patient until another significant fight comes around that will elevate him further into title contention.
In the co-main event of the UFC 260, Luque knew he had to beat Woodley to prove he’s a future title challenger. Although the former champ was on a three-fight losing streak and wasn’t throwing many punches, Luque expected a very aggressive Woodley and that is exactly what he got.
Vicente Luque wants to fight someone in the top 5 next
After beating Woodley in his most recent outing, Luque sees matchups ahead that will ready him well for Usman. Fighters with a wrestling background control the majority of the top five, and Luque sees those fights and ones that will perfectly prepare him for a crack at the champ.
“The top of the division, most of these guys are grapplers,” Luque told MMA Junkie. “A lot of them have good striking, as well, but they’re more grappling oriented. (They’re) trying to tire out their opponents and eventually strike in the later rounds. And having a guy like Woodley try to do that against me – try to tire me out – and I was trying to reverse that and just impose my will and then bring the fight to where I wanted it to play out in the striking, that shows the division that I’m ready to fight these guys and show myself as well, that my wrestling has been evolving a lot in the last years. I’ve been working on it – I just hadn’t faced a wrestler. So it was great to face Woodley right now.
“Eventually I want to face other guys like that. I think Leon Edwards would be a great test. Colby Covington would be another great guy I would like to fight because if you look at the champion right now, he is an amazing wrestler. He’s been developing his striking, but he’s an amazing wrestler. So if I want to be ready to beat a guy like that, I’ve got to be ready to face tough competition like Colby, like Leon Edwards. They’re going to try to do the same thing against me.”
Although Luque did call out Nate Diaz, just days later, Diaz was booked to face Leon Edwards. With that, the Brazilian has changed his attention to Colby Covington. He’s the only top-five fight who isn’t booked right now. However, “Chaos” has been holding out for a title shot, so it’s uncertain if he would fight Luque.
“It sets me up for the top-five, I’m ranked six,” Luque said to BJPENN.com. “I don’t see myself fighting below me as I did that with my past two fights so I want someone in the top five. It is a big win for me and I’m looking to that top-five.”
“Colby is someone I want to fight. It’s the fight I need. He’s a tough guy, great wrestler, he can go five rounds really hard and strong,” Luque said. “That is the kind of fight I want right now as he is the only top-five guy available. But, I do have a kid on the way so I’m not looking to get a fight right now. I’m thinking about coming back in August and by then, the division will be more clear as Usman-Masvidal, Diaz-Edwards, Thompson-Burns would’ve all happened.”
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