This past Saturday night in the main event of UFC Vegas 78, we saw a showdown between two top Brazilian welterweights. Former lightweight champion Rafael Dos Anjos (32-15) was looking for his second straight win at 170 as he welcomed Vicente Luque (22-9-1) back to the octagon.
Luque had been out for a year after he was finished by Geoff Neal. In that bout with Geoff Neal, Luque suffered damage that could’ve hindered the rest of his career. However, he was able to work his way back and got this main event slot against the former lightweight champion.
Entering the bout, I really didn’t know what to expect from Luque. Had this fight been before his fight with Neal, I would’ve picked him. However, the question marks had me leaning towards RDA. Vicente Luque answered the doubts on Saturday night and showed the world that he’s 100%.
As it was predicted to be, it was a very competitive matchup between these two. Both men had success on the feet, but grappling strength of Luque really played a big factor in this one. Whenever RDA would initiate grappling, it felt like Luque would always get the better position. In the end, that was the difference and he picked up the decision win over the former UFC champion.
What’s next after UFC Vegas 78?
This was the perfect fight for Luque to get as he returned from the lengthy layoff. RDA isn’t an easy out for anyone, but at the same time, he’s not the most dangerous guy in the world especially at 170 pounds. A solid win has re-established Luque and now he can get back to the top tier welterweights in the UFC.
So, who should the UFC be looking at for a next opponent? There are two options that I like next for Luque. One option I like is Sean Brady. Brady is needing an opponent after he had to pull out of the Jack Della Maddalena fight. Luque and Brady would be a great matchup. Speaking of JDM, I think he’d also be a good opponent for Luque. However, he’s wanting to fight next month in Australia and that’s too soon for Luque in my opinion.
One other option to look at is the winner of Ian Garry – Neil Magny this weekend at UFC 292. Garry is wanting to climb the ranks instead of making huge leaps. If he’s able to beat Magny, Luque is a perfect next step.