Luque Won First Bout by KO
It’s a rematch nearly six years in the making as Vicente Luque looks to turn back Belal Muhammad a second time. The UFC odds have Luque as a favorite yet again and it’s hard to dispute since he did knock out Muhammad in just over a minute the first time around. But our Luque vs Muhammad betting analysis has this one a lot closer and potentially features an upset.
‘Silent Assassin’ Perpetually on Contender Bubble
Vicente Luque has, for better or worse, lived up to his moniker as “The Silent Assassin.” You will rarely hear anything about Luque other than him finishing his opponents. The Brazilian has finished his last four opponents and has a 92.9 percent finishing rate. All but one of his 14 UFC wins were finishes.
Luque recently revealed in an interview how he got his nickname. It came from his old manager and the owner of the Blackzilians, Glenn Robinson, who recently died.
“You’re like ‘The Silent Assassin’ because you don’t talk much, but when you get in there, you just kill your opponents,” Robinson told Luque during his stint at the Ultimate Fighter: Blackzilians vs ATT. “You go out there, and you do work. So that’s gonna be your nickname.”
But this is the “fight game.” You need a bit of showmanship to get noticed. While Luque’s fighting prowess is wildly exciting, his refusal to talk trash and “stir the pot” has made him just another contender in a stacked welterweight division.
From a fighting perspective, Luque also has more to lose. He is building his resume strictly from fighting. So his losses to Stephen Thompson and Leon Edwards set him back in several fights. On the flip side, he continues to be a popular pick when it comes to UFC Fight Night odds and predictions but stays at an affordable price.
Bettors will stick with Luque as long as he continues to dispatch of any opponent that is not title-fight worthy.
Muhammad Hungry for Redemption
On the flip side, we have Belal Muhammad. While he hasn’t exactly been running his mouth, he has been very vocal and pro-active in securing big fights. He is coming off two notable wins in beating former title challengers Thompson and Demian Maia.
While both fighters appear “washed” these days, they still had name value that only helped elevate Muhammad’s status. Now entering top-five territory in the division, Muhammad looks to rectify the worst loss in his professional career.
“I think that it’s the winner of our fight is either gonna fight the winner of [Gilbert Burns vs Khamzat Chimaev’s] fight, or you get into, how long is [Kamaru] Usman gonna be out for?” Muhammad said in an interview. “Is there gonna be an interim title on the line? I know he says July, but let’s see when he actually starts punching with that hand, if that ligament actually stays attached or not. Injuries happen, stuff happens. Like I say, I wanna be a guy who’s active.”
Speaking of active, Muhammad’s style is wrestling-heavy and pressure-based. It’s the opposite of Luque, who likes to fight like a master chef or surgeon. While Muhammad leaves himself prone to getting hurt, he has looked like a different fighter since his knockout loss. He has only lost once and should he beat Luque, he’ll be one win away from a potential title shot.
As another underdog, Muhammad can be touted as one of UFC Fight Night’s best picks. He has won three of his last four fights at plus-money. Avenging his only knockout loss, in the main event, will push the Palestinian-American to new heights.