UFC booking Vicente Luque – Geoff Neal

The UFC is close to finalizing a big time matchup between top welterweight contenders for a card in August. ESPN’s Brett Okamoto was the first to report this afternoon that the promotion was close to finalizing Vicente Luque (21-8-1) and Geoff Neal (14-4).

The matchup will take place at a UFC Fight Night on August 6th. For Geoff Neal, he’s going to be searching for his second straight win. The last time we saw him was back at UFC 269 when he took on Santiago Ponzinibbio.

It was a close fight, but Neal was able to pick up the split decision victory. That win snapped a two-fight losing streak for Neal that saw him drop fights to Wonderboy Thompson and Neil Magny.

Handz of Steel started out strong in the UFC winning his first five fights which included a win over Belal Muhammad. However, things stalled between 2020 and 2021. Now, Neal is looking to regain his hype and get back to the top of the welterweight division.

UFC Welterweight Showdown

When Vicente Luque enters the octagon to face off against Geoff Neal, he’s going to be looking to bounce back. We just saw Luque headline a UFC Fight Night against Belal Muhammad and he lost a unanimous decision.

That loss snapped a four-fight winning streak for Luque. During that winning streak, he scored first round finishes over top contender Michael Chiesa and former UFC champion Tyron Woodley.

This is a huge fight for both men with both looking to stay relevant near the middle of the top ten at welterweight. With a dominant champion like Kamaru Usman, the UFC is constantly looking at guys he’s never fought.

Luque and Neal both fall into that category. Whoever wins this fight is going to be in a good position to start making a run towards a title shot in the future.

What’s next for Vicente Luque after UFC Vegas 51 loss?

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.

After big win at UFC Vegas 51, what’s next for Belal Muhammad?

This past Saturday in the main event of UFC Vegas 51, we saw a battle between two of the best welterweights in the world. Sixth ranked Belal Muhammad (21-3, 1 NC) was looking to avenge a loss against fifth ranked Vicente Luque (21-8-1).

Both men were looking to take another step towards a UFC title shot on Saturday night. When they first fought back in 2016, Vicente Luque was able to score a first round knockout. However, it was evident from the opening bell that this was not the same Belal Muhammad that lost six years ago.

Luque opened the first round well with decent pressure and looked to work the jab. However, it was Belal Muhammad who was being more effective with his footwork on the outside and was doing a decent job of landing shots.

Then, Muhammad was able to land the takedown which was a story of the fight. In the majority of rounds at UFC Vegas 51, Muhammad was able to get Luque to the mat which is something previous opponents have struggled with.

Luque tried to come on strong in the final round, but Muhammad was holding his own in the striking. In fact, you could say he was even getting the better of the exchanges. In the end, all three judges awarded the decision win to Belal Muhammad at UFC Vegas 51.

What’s next after UFC Vegas 51?

This was a massive win for Belal Muhammad who moved to 7-0, 1 NC in his last eight fights. The lone no contest came against top contender Leon Edwards when Muhammad was accidentally poked in the eye in their main event fight.

Without a doubt, this was the biggest win of Muhammad’s UFC career. After the fight was over, there was one name on the mind of Muhammad. That name was former interim welterweight champion Colby Covington.

While that’s the fight Muhammad wants, I’m not sure that’s the fight the UFC will give him. The current plan if all goes well is to have Covington face off with Khamzat Chimaev in a title eliminator. Leon Edwards is going to be fighting Kamaru Usman for the title sometime this summer.

With that, everyone but one man is booked in front of Muhammad. That one man is former title challenger and best friend to Vicente Luque, Gilbert Burns. Burns just fought Chimaev at UFC 273 and lost a very close decision.

Some believe that Burns won the fight and his stock didn’t take a single hit. To me, this is the perfect fight for Belal Muhammad and I think it’s the fight that will get booked next.

UFC Vegas 51 Preview: Belal Muhammad – Vicente Luque 2

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

After dominant win at UFC 272, what’s next for Colby Covington?

This past weekend in the main event of UFC 272 we saw a highly anticipated grudge match between two of the best welterweights in the world. Former best friends Colby Covington (17-3) and Jorge Masvidal (35-16) went to battle to settle their personal beef.

Going into UFC 272, the path to victory for both men was clear. Covington needed to use his pace and wrestling to break down Masvidal while Masvidal needed to keep things standing at range to hurt Covington.

In the first round, Masvidal immediately targeted the legs of Covington trying to slow down his pace. However, they really didn’t have any impact. All night long, Covington was able to pressure Masvidal up against the fence and get ahold of him.

Even when they were striking, Covington get the better of things most of the time due to volume. Now, Masvidal did drop Covington in the fourth round with a big right hand, but he couldn’t follow up.

Ultimately, it was a very one-sided fight at UFC 272. Colby Covington was too much for Masvidal and won a lopsided decision while proving once again that he’s clearly the second best welterweight on the roster.

What’s next after UFC 272?

Immediately after the main event concluded, Covington made it clear who he wanted next. Covington said that he wanted to fight another former teammate in former interim UFC lightweight champion Dustin Poirier.

Like with Masvidal, Covington has serious personal beef with Dustin Poirier. Poirier has teased that he wants to move up to welterweight and Covington has made it clear that he wants to fight him. However, Poirier has said already that he’s not interested in that fight.

If he was, I would be all for the UFC making that fight happen. In terms of fights that make sense for the division, I would point to a couple of upcoming welterweight fights. There are matchups between Vicente Luque – Belal Muhammad and Khamzat Chimaev – Gilbert Burns.

Covington hasn’t fought any of those four men. One of those winners would make for a perfect opponent that would get Covington in a good spot to once agains challenge for the UFC welterweight title.

UFC books headliner between Vicente Luque and Belal Muhammad

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.

2022 UFC Dark Horse: Vicente Luque

The UFC‘s welterweight division is one of the most stacked divisions within the promotion. Atop the division is the pound-for-pound king at the moment, Kamaru Usman. Usman has dominated his way to the title and now he’s fighting guys for the second time during his reign.

One of the guys he has not fought is Vicente Luque (21-7-1). Luque’s nickname matches him perfectly with his nickname being ‘The Silent Assassin’. Despite being clearly one of the best in the world, Luque’s name isn’t mentioned much.

Now, Luque was serving as the backup for UFC 268 when Usman had his rematch with Colby Covington. However, Luque didn’t do himself any favors by missing weight when he was the event’s backup. Dana White said it wasn’t a good look.

Going back to 2015, Luque is an astonishing 14-2 over his last sixteen UFC fights. The two losses came against Wonderboy Thompson and Leon Edwards. It’s clear that Leon Edwards is likely getting the next crack at Kamaru Usman.

So where does that leave Luque and the UFC?

Luque is the UFC’s Dark Horse

Currently, Luque is riding a four-fight winning streak. His last fight came at UFC 265 when he took on Michael Chiesa. Luque impressed everyone when he submitted the talented grappler in the first round.

However, the win leaves Luque in a tough spot. There’s no one for him to fight that makes a lot of sense. From a rankings perspective, Gilbert Burns makes sense. However, Luque and Burns are best friends and have said that they prefer not to fight.

Colby Covington and Jorge Masvidal appear to be on a collision course so that would take them off the table. With those options off the table, the UFC has two options but those might be off the table as well.

I like Luque taking on either Belal Muhammad or the hyped prospect Khamzat Chimaev. Luque has already said that he would take the fight with Chimaev. That would be a huge deal for the UFC because it would move Chimaev right into title contention with a win.

However, there’s momentum towards booking Chimaev and Muhammad against each other. It’s astonishing how a guy like Luque is being left out of the conversations with the top guys. He reminds me of where Charles Oliveira was in early 2021.

Luque is definitely a guy to watch this year. I think the UFC will figure out a good opponent for him next and if he impresses, he’s likely going to be challenging for the welterweight title this year.

What does the UFC do with Nate Diaz?

The UFC is currently in a unique spot with one of their biggest stars. Nate Diaz (20-13) is currently looking for a fight and he cannot seem to get one locked down despite the promotion exploring a variety of options.

Diaz has one fight left on his UFC contract and the promotion is trying to decide what to do with that fight. Most recently, the promotion has tried to offer Diaz a fight with superstar prospect Khamzat Chimaev (10-0).

Chimaev is coming off of another massive win at UFC 267 where he completely destroyed Li Jingliang in the first round. The Chechen welterweight has finished every opponent he’s faced in four fights and he’s only absorbed one significant strike.

The UFC is struggling to find Chimaev an opponent for his next fight as well. Given the star power of Diaz, the promotion wanted to pair him with Chimaev to make Chimaev an even bigger star should he defeat the fan favorite, Nate Diaz.

However, Diaz isn’t interested. Diaz told TMZ that he wouldn’t fight a rookie like Chimaev but he would fight anyone in the top ten of the UFC‘s welterweight division. With that, who should the promotion pair him with?

Options for Diaz’s next UFC fight

The option that I like the most is a matchup with top contender Vicente Luque. It’s clear now that Leon Edwards is likely going to get the next shot against Kamaru Usman. With that, Luque is going to need to take another fight before getting a title shot of his own.

The UFC approached Luque about fighting his teammate Gilbert Burns. However, Luque wasn’t interested in that matchup given their relationship. I think the promotion is likely going to book Chimaev against Burns next.

With that, the opening is there for Luque to fight Diaz next and this is a fight that both men have verbally expressed interest in. However, the UFC hasn’t moved in that direction as of yet.

The only other fight to watch out for would be the BMF rematch with Jorge Masvidal. The UFC tried to make this fight last year but ultimately pivoted when they tried to book Masvidal against Covington.

That said, the word is that the UFC is fully planning on booking Masvidal against Covington now that both are coming off losses. All that being said, I think Vicente Luque – Nate Diaz is going to be Diaz’s last fight on his current UFC deal.

Who’s next for Kamaru Usman after UFC 268?

This past weekend at UFC 268, we saw a rematch for the welterweight title. In the main event, Kamaru Usman (20-1) defended his title against Colby Covington (16-3). It was the second time that these men met inside the octagon with the first coming back at UFC 245 in 2019.

In between the first and second fights, we saw dramatic improvement from Usman after he made the switch to Trevor Wittman’s camp. Usman’s striking got considerably better and his performances showed that. However, many still thought of Covington as his toughest opponent.

We saw both stories play out on Saturday at UFC 268. In the first two rounds, we did see that improvement from Usman. We saw him drop Covington twice in the second round and nearly finish him. That said, we also saw Covington prove how tough he was.

In the later rounds, I actually was favoring Covington with his pressure and he was landing. That said, Usman still got the nod and the right decision in my book was 48-47 Kamaru Usman. The UFC‘s welterweight champion proved that he’s still the best in the world.

Who is next after UFC 268?

Dana White was absolutely right when he said Colby Covington is clearly the second best welterweight in the world. White said that if Kamaru Usman didn’t exist, Colby Covington would be the UFC welterweight champion. Usman has now defeated him twice.

The champion is on his second round through a lot of the top tier opponents which is why White has already labeled him the welterweight GOAT. Now that Usman has defeated Covington for the second time, who is next in the welterweight division.

Well, there are a couple of options for the champion. Leon Edwards (19-3, 1 NC) is fighting Jorge Masvidal (35-15) next month at UFC 269. If Edwards wins that fight, there is no doubt in my mind that he’s next for Kamaru Usman. This fight would also be a rematch.

However, if Masvidal were to win, there’s a different contender who Usman hasn’t fought. That man is Vicente Luque (21-7-1). Luque was actually the backup this past weekend and he’s won four straight by stoppage. If Edwards falls next month, expect Luque to get the next shot.

Khamzat Chimaev (10-0) is a wild card name to watch. As of now, no way he’d get the next shot. However, there’s rumors that he might fight Gilbert Burns next. If he fights Burns and destroys the former title challenger, he could leap all the way to the front of the line.

Is the UFC going to book Nate Diaz – Vicente Luque?

One of the UFC‘s biggest stars has selected the guy that he wants to face next. That star is Stockton’s Nate Diaz (20-13) and the opponent that he’s zeroing in on is one of the best welterweights in the world, Vicente Luque (21-7-1).

Vicente Luque is currently the fourth ranked welterweight in the UFC. Luque made his debut with the promotion back in 2015 coming off of a stint on The Ultimate Fighter. He didn’t win the show and he lost his first UFC fight on the finale.

However, since that loss, you cannot deny that Luque hasn’t been one of the best in the world. Since losing his debut with the promotion, Luque has gone an astonishing 14-2 since 2015.

During that time, the only two men to have defeated him inside the octagon is Wonderboy Thompson and Leon Edwards. Personally, I would love to see Luque and Edwards fight again to determine a true number one contender.

However, Luque has wanted a fight with Nate Diaz for a while. After his last two UFC victories, Luque has told the media that he wants to fight Nate Diaz. He respects Diaz, but he also knows the rub that you can get from fighting a star like that.

Diaz’s UFC Selections

Make no mistake about it, Nate Diaz is one of the UFC’s superstars. With that, he has earned himself a few privileges that a lot of other fighters really don’t have. One of those is having the ability to have a great say in who he fights next.

On paper, Diaz has not really been close to a title contender in years for the promotion. However, that hasn’t stopped him from wanting to fight the best of the best the UFC has to offer. Simply put, if you look tough and you’re perceived as the best, Diaz wants to fight you.

When Conor McGregor was on the rise, Diaz called him out and got the fight. The win over McGregor in their first fight is what made him an even bigger star. Then, their second fight was one of the best fights you’ll ever see.

After defeating Anthony Pettis, Diaz called out Jorge Masvidal who was becoming one of the biggest stars in the UFC. Earlier this year, Diaz fought Leon Edwards who was perceived as one of the best and a guy that nobody wanted to fight.

One could point out the fact that Diaz is just 1-3 in his last four so he shouldn’t be fighting a top contender. However, with Diaz it really doesn’t matter. He’s one of those guys where a record really doesn’t matter. While it doesn’t make sense on paper, I believe the UFC is moving towards booking Diaz against Vicente Luque.