Tomorrow night in the headliner of UFC Vegas 51, we will see a pivotal battle in the welterweight division. Top five contenders will battle it out in a rematch as Belal Muhammad (20-3, 1 NC) takes on Vicente Luque (21-7-1).
As mentioned, this is the second time these two have fought. The first time came all the way back at UFC 205 in 2016 when Vicente Luque was able to crack Muhammad with a huge left and go on to get the TKO win.
Since then, both men have been sensational. In 12 fights since that loss, Belal Muhammad has gone 10-1-1 in the UFC. Luque on the other hand has gone 10-2 in exactly 12 fights since their first encounter. They’ve shared a lot of common opponents as well.
Luque will enter UFC Vegas 51 riding a four-fight winning streak. He’s finished all four of those opponents as well included back-to-back first round finishes. Muhammad has won two fights in a row leading to UFC Vegas 51 including dominating former title challenger Wonderboy Thompson
UFC Vegas 51 Prediction
Since their first fight, Belal Muhammad has done a really good job of making himself more well-rounded. In their first fight, his striking was not very good. However, he can hold his own on his feet and he might have some success at UFC Vegas 51.
However, don’t get it twisted, the game plans are clear here. For Muhammad, he needs to use his wrestling and get the fight to the ground. For Luque, he needs to keep the fight at range so he can pick Muhammad apart.
If the same Belal Muhammad shows up that fought Wonderboy, Luque might be in some trouble. Muhammad was suffocating that night and didn’t allow Wonderboy any space to operate. However, can he have the sustained success over five rounds against Luque.
We’ve seen solid cardio from Luque and he’s going to need it at UFC Vegas 51. Unlike their first fight, I don’t see this one ending early. I see them fighting from range and I also see a lot of grappling.
I’m going to say that Luque’s cardio holds up and he does better and better at defending takedowns in the later rounds. He’s going to land something big in the fourth round and I think he gets a late finish.
Prediction: Vicente Luque by TKO – Round 4