Vicente Luque will not be underestimating his opponent.
“The Silent Assassin” returns to action for the first time in 2022, and it’s a big one; he will headline his first UFC event. Luque faces Belal Muhmamad on April 16 at the UFC Apex. Oh, and it’s a rematch.
In 2016, the UFC returned to New York for the first time in 21 years, and they held their show at the historic Madison Square Garden. Buried on the prelims, Luque faced Muhammad and earned a first-round knockout.
Fast forward six years and Muhammad is on a six-fight winning streak and is ranked No.5 in the welterweight division. He is coming off his most high-profile win against former title challenger Stephen Thompson.
Although Luque finished Muhammad in 89 seconds in their first meeting, he goes into the rematch with a fresh perspective.
“I think that my first fight was a great win, but I don’t take it much as an example, because I fought for a minute and a half, something like that, you know, it was a quick fight. So I didn’t get to feel much of what he was going to do to me in that fight. So I see this as a new fight,” Luque told The AllStar. “I’m definitely not going to underestimate Belal just because I beat him. I think that he’s a different fighter now.”
Luque was impressed by Muhammad’s dominant win over Thompson in December, something the Brazilian was not able to do when he met “Wonderboy” back in 2019 at UFC 244.
“I’ve seen tons of evolution. I think that he has become a much more complete fighter and really intelligent, you know, that’s what I take from his last fight. He followed his game plan man perfectly,” Luque said. “[He has been] changing. He has fought grapplers, and he has fought strikers. In every fight, he kind of adjusts his game a little bit, changes what he’s got to do, and beats his opponents. So I think that’s what he has evolved a lot. He can impose his game plan better than his opponents. And that’s what I’ve been getting ready for.”
Rematches are nothing new to Luque. He faced Niko Price for the second time at UFC 249 in 2020 and said it was a much tougher fight.
“It’s hard when you fight a guy that wants revenge, you know, that wants that loss back and wants to get the win. It’s hard; I faced that against Niko Price. The second fight against Niko Price was much tougher than the first one. So yeah, I’m definitely gonna have my eyes on Belal and make sure that I don’t make any mistakes,” Luque said.
A lot is riding on the fight, which motivates the 30-year-old 8-time Fight Night bonus winner. With a victory, a welterweight title shot could be in his future.
“It’s kind of like a lot of motivation in this fight. It’s gonna be five rounds, and [I’m facing] a guy that wants to go out there and beat me in a dominant way. If I get a win over this guy, I’m even closer to the title. Maybe I’ll be next for the title. So it’s a lot of pressure that motivates me,” Luque said.
Vicente “The Silent Assassin” Luque is a 30 year old male fighter from Brazil with 21 pro wins and 7 losses. Luque is scheduled to fight Belal Muhammad at UFC Fight Night: Luque vs. Muhammad 2 on Saturday April 16, 2022.
Vicente Luque’s recent form coming into this matchup
Vicente Luque has gone 4-1 in the last 5 professional MMA fights.
- Win vs Michael Chiesa • Submission R1 3:25 • 2021-08-07
- Win vs Tyron Woodley • Submission R1 3:56 • 2021-03-27
- Win vs Randy Brown • KO/TKO R2 4:56 • 2020-08-01
- Win vs Niko Price • KO/TKO R3 3:37 • 2020-05-09
- Loss vs Stephen Thompson • Decision R3 5:00 • 2019-11-02
Vicente Luque’s next opponent: Belal “Remember the Name” Muhammad
Belal “Remember the Name” Muhammad’s recent form coming into this matchup
Belal “Remember the Name” Muhammad is a 33 year old male fighter from United States with 20 pro wins and 3 losses. Muhammad is scheduled to fight Vicente Luque at UFC Fight Night: Luque vs. Muhammad 2 on Saturday April 16, 2022.
Belal Muhammad has gone 4-0 in the last 5 professional MMA fights.
- Win vs Stephen Thompson • Decision R3 5:00 • 2021-12-18
- Win vs Demian Maia • Decision R3 5:00 • 2021-06-12
- No Contest vs Leon Edwards • R2 0:18 • 2021-03-13
- Win vs Dhiego Lima • Decision R3 5:00 • 2021-02-13
- Win vs Lyman Good • Decision R3 5:00 • 2020-06-20
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