This past Saturday in the main event of UFC Vegas 51, we saw a pivotal matchup in the welterweight division. The main event featured a rematch between top six contenders Vicente Luque (21-8-1) and Belal Muhammad (21-3, 1 NC).
These two men first fought back in 2016 at UFC 205. That night, Luque was able to get the better of Muhammad with a first round knockout. However, both men have progressed so much in the last six years that this promised to be a much different fight and it was.
From the opening bell, Luque was pressing forward while Muhammad was circling on the outside. Strikers will often pressure wrestlers to try and force the shots which usually makes it easier to defend. Combine that with Luque’s takedown defense and it was a good strategy.
However, that takedown defense wasn’t really on display at UFC Vegas 51. Throughout the fight, Muhammad was able to land takedowns and score points on Luque. There was really only one time where Luque had momentum by hurting Muhammad.
Outside of that one moment, the fight was controlled by Muhammad. In the end, all three judges gave the lopsided decision to Belal Muhammad at UFC Vegas 51.
What’s next after UFC Vegas 51?
The loss to Belal Muhammad was just Luque’s third loss in the last seven years. Every time he’s lost inside the octagon, he’s bounced back strong with a big winning streak and I wouldn’t put it past him to do it again.
That being said, it’s time to reset after his loss at UFC Vegas 51. With that in mind, what should be next for Vicente Luque? There are a couple of different avenues the UFC can pursue in terms of Luque’s next fight.
My favorite option would be a fight with Jorge Masvidal. It’s a fight that makes sense for both men and it would create a very entertaining scrap for the fans. That being said, Masvidal’s legal situation is up in the air after he punched Colby Covington outside of a Miami restaurant so we don’t know when he’ll be back.
Another option for Luque could be a fight with Sean Brady. Brady is in the top ten and he’s unbeaten. A fight with Luque would be a good test for him. One other option could be a rematch with Wonderboy Thompson with both men coming off losses to Belal Muhammad.