Vicente Luque thought he would be fighting Michael Chiesa after his win over Tyron Woodley in March.
Luque and Chiesa are currently ranked fifth and sixth at welterweight and both are dark horses of the division. It’s an intriguing matchup but for the Brazilian, he knows stylistic, it’s a striker vs. grappler matchup. Luque is also expecting the scrap to be an entertaining one for however long it lasts.
“On paper, it’s a grappler vs. striker kind of fight. There’s no secret I’m going to go out there to strike with him and try him knock him out,” Luque said on Just Scrap Radio on BJPENN.com. “He’s going to go out there and try and get me down and submit me. That’s what he does and what I do is strike. But, I also have a ground game, I’m good at jiu-jitsu, I can complicate the ground game. He’s a better grappler than I am because he focuses a lot on that and is dangerous, but I can pull something off and surprise him.
“In the standup, I have better striking and can pressure him and that’s what I’m going to look to do. My kind of pressure is tough to handle so we’ll see,” Luque continued. “If he can handle it, it will be the Fight of the Night, if not I think I can get a finish.”
Luque says he expects Chiesa to shoot for the first takedown within the first minute but he is prepared for that He also knows he has an underrated ground game that could pose some problems for Chiesa.
The Brazilian ultimately expects to keep the fight standing and once he does that, he will be able to hurt Chiesa on the feet. The goal for Luque is to get the finish and put an entertaining fight.
“Every time I step in there, I imagine me knocking my opponent out, especially because of my style. I’m always looking for the finish,” Luque said. “I have submissions as well but I always see the knockout.”
If Luque does get his hand raised at UFC 265 in Houston, he knows it would be a massive win for him. He believes it could put him into a number one contender bout and prove to the welterweight division he is a threat for the belt.
“I think it does put me really close to the title fight. Fight someone and then after that go for the title. Especially because of the activity, I’ve always been active. The way I fight too, my fights are (not boring), I’m not trying to get safe wins, I’m trying to finish my opponents. This fight is a really important fight for me,” Luque concluded.
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