Vicente Luque will be waiting on the sidelines in case of a late-notice call to replace either Kamaru Usman or Colby Covington at Saturday night’s UFC 268 in New York, MMA Fighting has confirmed following a report from ESPN.
Luque, victorious in his past four octagon appearances with finishes over Michael Chiesa, Tyron Woodley, Randy Brown and Niko Price, will step on the scale to hit the 170-pound mark and be eligible to compete for the welterweight gold if the opportunity presents itself.
Speaking on a recent edition of MMA Fighting’s Portuguese-language podcast Trocação Franca, Luque said he was “staying ready” in case the UFC offered him the spot as the backup fighter at Madison Square Garden.
“I’m staying ready,” Luque said. “I love being ready for an opportunity. If something comes in November, if they end up needing someone, I’ll stay ready for it. I’ll be training for this.”
Usman vs. Covington is a highly anticipated rematch two years in the making. Usman, who won via fifth-round stoppage back in his first title defense at UFC 245, has since defeated Jorge Masvidal (twice) and Gilbert Burns, while Covington stopped Tyron Woodley in his sole appearance.