The UFC has finalized a big time main event with huge implications in the welterweight division. ESPN’s Brett Okamoto was the first to report this evening that the promotion had finalized a matchup between Vicente Luque (21-7-1) and Belal Muhammad (20-3, 1 NC).
The matchup will headline a UFC Fight Night on April 16th. This matchup makes all the sense in the world as both men are ranked inside the top five and both men are needing one more big win to get a crack at the welterweight championship.
Belal Muhammad was calling out Kamaru Usman after his last win, however, even he knew that wasn’t realistic. Nevertheless, Muhammad looked sensational in his last fight when he completely dominated Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson.
There was a possibility that the UFC was going to book Muhammad against super prospect Khamzat Chimaev. However, Chimaev appears to be lining up with Luque’s teammate Gilbert Burns. That created a path forwards for this matchup with Luque and Muhammad.
UFC title shot incoming for Luque?
Vicente Luque is perhaps just a win away from securing a UFC title shot. All he will have to do is beat a man that he’s already defeated. These two first fought back in 2016 with Luque scoring a TKO victory.
Quietly, Vicente Luque has been one of the very best welterweights in the world over the last few years. After the Belal Muhammad win, Luque lost a decision to top contender Leon Edwards. However, he’s been close to perfect since then.
Since the loss to Edwards back in 2017, Luque has gone 10-1 with the lone loss coming against Wonderboy Thompson. In his last fight, he submitted Michael Chiesa. Luque is compelling for the welterweight division because he’s never fought the UFC champion unlike most other top contenders at 170.
Luque will likely be a big betting favorite and for good reason. If he can stop Belal Muhammad for a second time, it would be hard to deny the man a shot at the title.