MMA Ratings Podcast

May 18, 2019

UFC Rochester: It's Time Vicente Luque Got A Top-10 Opponent

By Adam Martin

Tonight's UFC Rochester event isn't getting much attention, and that's mainly because it lacks the big names that draw eyeballs to a card. There are no true stars on the card, with the biggest names being the co-headlining welterweight bout between Kevin Lee and Rafael dos Anjos. But there is one emerging talent that you need to keep your eye on, and that's Vicente Luque.

Luque was originally scheduled to take on top-15-ranked Neil Magny, but after Magny was forced off the card due to a USADA violation earlier this week, he now takes on Octagon newcomer and short-notice replacement Derrick Krantz instead. Once again, Luque is fighting someone without a number next to his name.

Just 27, Luque has quickly turned heads for his stunning performances inside the Octagon. The Brazilian is 15-6-1 overall in his MMA career, but ever since coming to the UFC in 2015 he's really upped his game. Since his stint on TUF: American Top Team vs. Blackzilians, Luque has gone 8-2 in the UFC, with all eight of his wins coming by stoppage. In fact, 14 of his 15 career victories have come by stoppage, including an early-career TKO win over current UFC light heavyweight contender Thiago Santos.

Aside from decision losses to Leon Edwards and Michael Graves where he was outwrestled, Luque has been nothing short of astonishing inside the Octagon. He's currently riding a four-fight win streak, with finishes over Niko Price, Chad Laprise, Jalin Turner, and a "Fight of the Year" third-round TKO over Bryan Barberena in his last fight. Luque has really stepped up his game as of late, and despite fighting in the stacked UFC welterweight division, he has quickly become a must-watch talent.

But for whatever reason, he keeps fighting unranked opponents. Sure, Magny would have been his first ranked opponent, but Luque was still a massive betting favorite for that fight and expected to win. It's unfortunate the Luque vs. Magny fight isn't happening, but even still, Luque should be fighting someone in the Top 10 at this point. He deserves it. There are fighters like Santiago Ponzinibbio who would be perfect for Luque's next opponent, but for whatever reason Ponzinibbio remains without a fight and Luque is fighting a newcomer in Krantz.

Should Vicente Luque get by Derrick Krantz quickly, hopefully the UFC can give him a quick turnaround and get him back in the Octagon against a top-10 opponent. It's time to see just how good he is, and if he's truly a top contender in the welterweight division. All Luque has been doing is winning, and now it's time we see him against elite competition. Hopefully in his next fight he gets what he deserves.

UFC on ESPN+ 10
Vicente Luque vs. Derrick Krantz

UFC on ESPN+ 10: Dos Anjos vs. Lee (formerly UFC on ESPN+ 9: Dos Anjos vs. Lee) takes place May 18, 2019 at Blue Cross Arena in Rochester, New York.

Click HERE for more UFC on ESPN+ 10 Pre-Fight Analysis

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