Vicente Luque is ready for his shot at welterweight gold.
The veteran welterweight wrapped up another impressive win at UFC 265 on Saturday night after he escaped an early submission attempt from Michael Chiesa and then countered with one of his own. As the fighters scrambled on the ground, Luque grabbed onto his signature D’arce choke and after a valiant attempt to break free, Chiesa was forced to tap out with the end coming at 3:25 in the first round.
With four wins in a row now, all by knockout or submission, Luque is hoping to see his former teammate staring back across the octagon from him sooner rather than later.
“I want to say something to Kamaru Usman, my man, my friend,” Luque said after his victory. “He asked the welterweights to show something. I think I’ve been showing. I think Kamaru, after you get past Colby, I think it’s our time. Let’s go.”
Before his call out, Luque first had to dispatch Chiesa, which was no easy task during a back-and-forth battle in the early going.
Employing constant footwork and movement, Chiesa was frustrating Luque early as he was working from side-to-side and forcing his opponent to chase him. Chiesa then connected with a hard counter punch that opened a cut under Luque’s eye as the fighters were exchanging strikes.
Chiesa eventually turned back to his grappling game after he latched onto a takedown and brought Luque down to the canvas where he was immediately looking to advance his position.
A second later, Chiesa was on Luque’s back looking for the rear naked choke as well as a neck crank and it appeared momentarily like he might have the submission locked up. That’s when Luque exploded out of the position and during the scramble, he saw the opening to grab onto the D’arce choke.
Chiesa tried to roll out of the submission but Luque only tightened his grip and that eventually led to the tap.
“Once I was in that position where I could sink in the D’arce, that’s my go to move,” Luque said about the finish.
With an incredible 10-1 record in his past 11 fights with only one decision in all those wins, Luque is a constant threat to anybody at welterweight and it appears he might be knocking on the door of a title shot with this latest performance.