Entering fight week ahead of his scheduled scrap at UFC Rochester, Vicente Luque had one goal in mind: the decimation of Neil Magny. Too bad he never got the chance, as a failed USADA drug test forced Magny off the card just five days before the event.
During the fight, Krantz stormed out of the gate and looked to smash a hole through Luque’s chest fast and early. The act of aggression seemed to catch the crowd in attendance off guard as they rose to their feet, but Luque remained calm as he watched his opponent burn through his stamina. After surviving the early onslaught, Luque wrapped his left fist around the skull of Krantz, sending him tumbling to the canvas. With a few more punches onto his downed opponent, Luque emerged victorious.
Appearing on the post-fight show on ESPN+, “The Silent Assassin” walked viewers through the quick but violent dust-up.
“After [Krantz] connected, I was thinking, ‘man, this guy really wants to put me out,’” Luque said. “He really came in to put me out. But I felt, on the ground, he was using a lot of power. I said, ‘He’s going to get tired. I know it. I know he’s going to get tired and once we get up, I know I’m going to be good.’ So, when he was on my back, I wasn’t in danger. I was kind of defending and I knew what he was doing. I was just letting him waste his energy, and later he kind of tried an arm-in guillotine, but I was in no danger. He was squeezing, so I’m like ‘ok, good, waste your energy.’
“Once we got up, I knew it was my time. I saw that he was tired and I started chopping his legs and connecting the punches. I didn’t expect to knock him out quick but I connected, he went down and I got the finish.”
The performance not only pushed Luque’s win streak to five straight inside the Octagon, but also marked his ninth career (T)KO and 15th stoppage victory overall. As for what’s next, the 27-year-old Brazilian already knows when, where, and who he wants to fight next
“I’m hearing that there is UFC Uruguay,” Luque said. “I want to be the main event. I think I’ve earned it. [Santiago] Ponzinibbio would be a name. He’s Argentinian, he’s also a background of Latin America. So, he would be a good fight for sure.”
Ponzinibbio (27-3), a veteran of The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil 2, is currently riding a seven-fight UFC win streak. In his most recent performance, the Argentinian ran through Magny in the main event of UFC Argentina in November 2018, earning him his second Performance of the Night bonus in the process. Prior to that, fans saw Ponzinibbio earns wins over Mike Perry, Gunnar Nelson, Nordine Taleb, Zak Cummings, Court McGee, and Andreas Ståhl.
If Luque does gets his wish, he’ll make his walk opposite Ponzinibbio on Aug. 10 inside the Antel Arena in Montevideo, Uruguay.
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