UFC Atlantic City Co-Main Event Preview: Vicente Luque – Joaquin Buckley

Aug 7, 2021; Houston, Texas, USA; Vicente Luque (blue gloves) reacts to the fight against Michael Chiesa (red gloves) during UFC 265 at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Tomorrow night in the co-main event of UFC Atlantic City, a spot in the welterweight rankings is on the line. 11th ranked Vicente Luque (22-9-1) looks to defend his spot in the rankings as he takes on rising contender Joaquin Buckley (17-6).

Joaquin Buckley has found new life in the welterweight division. After having a solid run at 185, Buckley decided to move down to 170 after back-to-back losses against Chris Curtis and Nassourdine Imavov. He fought twice last year picking up wins over Alex Morono and Andre Fialho. Now, he’ll look to jump in the rankings with a win over Luque.

Vicente Luque suffered a brutal loss to Geoff Neal in 2022 which sidelined him for over a year. It was his second straight loss after winning four fights in a row. Luque returned back in August to take on former UFC champion Rafael Dos Anjos in a main event. Luque showed new offensive wrestling skills and won a big decision getting him back on track. He’ll look to win his second fight in a row tomorrow night.

UFC Atlantic City Prediction

Originally, Luque was supposed to face Sean Brady in this spot, but Brady wasn’t cleared to fight due to some injuries he’s been dealing with. This is a completely different stylistic matchup but fortunately, he’s had a full camp to prepare for Buckley.

We know that Buckley is incredibly fast and packs a huge punch. There’s not going to be any safe moments for Luque when they are on the feet at UFC Atlantic City. However, I do think that Luque has the technique advantage and if he can keep things tight and straight, I think he’ll have a lot of success.

The new offensive wrestling could really play here against Buckley. If Luque mixes in takedown attempts, I think he can make Buckley uncomfortable and prevent him from opening up. I expect to see that at UFC Atlantic City and that’ll play even more to Luque’s advantage.

I like Luque in this matchup. I think he’ll mix things up well enough to keep Buckley on his toes and in the third round, I’m seeing a big combination that hurts Buckley and ultimately Luque gets a statement stoppage.

Prediction: Vicente Luque by TKO – Round 3

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