EXCLUSIVE | Vicente Luque eyes summer return, outlines goal for 2019

UFC Rochester

Vicente Luque is coming off what may very well be the Fight of the Year. At UFC Phoenix, Luque and Bryan Barberena engaged in an unbelievable war and Luque scored a last-second knockout to get the win.

Now, Luque is already eyeing his next fight. He wants to fight Neil Magny. Unfortunately for him, Magny has yet to accept his callout.

“No, Magny hasn’t responded. I still haven’t gotten in touch with my manager and the UFC to try and negotiate this fight,” Luque said recently on BJPENN Radio. “That’s something I’m going to do soon. I’m still taking in everything that happened with this last fight, recovering, getting back to training, but soon, soon I’m going to start negotiating this and trying to get my next fight scheduled.”

If Magny is not the opponent for his next fight, Luque is hoping for a ranked opponent. Regardless, he wants to return in the summer and ride the momentum of his last fight.

“I am looking more maybe June, July, just ’cause, I had a tough fight. I think my body needs the rest,” Luque explained. “I’m gonna get back to training, but respecting my body at the same time. Also, I wanna improve. I always wanna improve after every fight even the fights I win. Even the ones that I won in the first round, I still see so much that I need to improve so I’m gonna fight like this three-rounder, I can see a lot of my game and so many things that I can improve on so I’m still gonna figure it out. I’m gonna see how my body feels and get back to training with a good rhythm.

“Brazil is a possibility,” he added. “It’s something I would love to do. I always like to fight here. The fans are real supportive so that would be a possibility, but right now, on my mind, is maybe June or July.”

For now, the focus is on recovery and training after his last fight. Luque knows he proved to the world he can be a top welterweight in the UFC. Now, it is time to fight the best. Although he is on the outside looking in on the rankings, he has a lofty goal for 2019 that he expects to achieve.

“I’m gonna work. I wanna put at least two more fights in this year. If everything goes perfect, I will put three more this year and make it four for 2019,” he said. “My objective is to work my way up as much as I can so if I could be a top five at the end of the year, that’s gonna be perfect. I’m gonna be pushing hard for that and always go in there and giving my best and looking for the finish at every moment.”

Who do you think Vicente Luque should fight next?

This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 3/15/2019.