In the main event of UFC Vegas 78 tomorrow night we are going to see a showdown in the welterweight division. Former lightweight champion and octagon legend Rafael Dos Anjos (32-14) returns as he looks for his second straight win as he takes on the returning Vicente Luque (21-9-1).
Last time we saw RDA was back in December when he returned to 170 to face Bryan Barberena. Prior to that, RDA had moved back down for three fights at lightweight. After winning his first two, he lost to Rafael Fiziev and it caused him to change his thinking for the rest of his career. That loss made him think less about a UFC title and more about taking fun fights.
Vicente Luque definitely qualifies as a fun fight. However, the last year hasn’t been fun for Luque, it’s been scary. Luque was stopped by Geoff Neal last August and the loss caused him to have bleeding in his brain. There was a moment where he was worried his career was over, but everything has been resolved and he’s been cleared to compete.
The loss to Neal was Luque’s second straight loss. The second straight loss came after a stretch where he went 10-1 over 11 fights including a win over former UFC champion Tyron Woodley. He’s hoping to defeat another former champion tomorrow night.
UFC Vegas 78 Prediction
When Vicente Luque was on that stretch where he went 10-1, it looked like he was destined to fight for a UFC title. However, the way he’s lost his last two fights and the uncertainty because of what he’s gone through over the last year, it’s thrown a lot of cloudiness around the future of his career.
RDA is no picnic for any fighter. On the feet, I think these two are very evenly matched. I like Luque’s distance striking, but I like RDA’s ability to mix things up and change levels. RDA’s quick combinations when chained into grappling exchanges could play a big factor in this fight.
I could see a world where Luque is able to keep the distance and pick RDA apart from the outside. However, I also see RDA getting in on the inside and using his grappling. Luque isn’t a slouch on the ground, but in pure wrestling, I like the former UFC lightweight champion.
Ultimately, I think we are going the distance in this one. Both fighters are going to have moments, but I think RDA will control the majority of the fight with his grappling ultimately leading to him getting his second straight win.
Prediction: Rafael Dos Anjos by Decision