Vicente Luque and Belal Muhammad meet in the headliner of the UFC on ESPN 34. The two welterweight fighters have high ambitions for this year and hope to reach the chance to challenge Kamaru Usman by the end of December. This battle could be the essential one for those plans because it has enough significance to put the winner in the mix for the title bout and, on the other side, erase the loser from all the title talks.
Stay tuned for five minutes and read our preview and pick for this event.
Luque (21-7-1) lost only one battle in the previous 10, winning many notable names during that streak. His latest two victims are very respectable in the UFC circles. The first was the welterweight champion, Tyron Woodley, whom Luque submitted via D’Arce choke.
He posted the win over Michael Chiesa in the same way in the latest bout he had, back in August 2021. Luque is a very versatile fighter who knows how to use his skills and technique. So far, he posted 11 KOs, eight submissions and two decision wins.
Luque is a fine boxer whose skills are mostly used in stand-up battles. He likes to enter an open brawl and attack the rivals even if there is a chance for him to eat a punch. Though, he wouldn’t do the same if it weren’t for a very tough chin.
Belal Muhammad (20-3) won his last two fights and is without a defeat in the previous seven events. He was supposed to cross paths with Leon Edwards back in March 2021, and they started the fight which had to be stopped due to Edwards’s accidental eye poke. After that, Muhammad won against Damian Maia and Stephen Thomspon, both clashes via unanimous decision.
He also has wins against Curtis Millender, Chance Recountre, Randy Brown etc. Now comes the interesting part. Fifteen victories came via decision, four via KO, and one after a submission. These stats show everything.
Muhammad is a very tough and strong rival, whose athleticism is among the best in the UFC. The 33-year-old isn’t the fighter who attacks or dictates the tempo, but the one that awaits and searches for his chance to win without too much attack or offense.
Head to Head Games
The two already had a clash in the past. It took place on November 12, 2016, and the winner of that event was Luque, who KOd Muhammad in the first round. Muhammad was supposed to fight Lyman Good, who backed out due to a potential doping violation. Luque was a logical solution for the organization, which would immediately put him on the card.
Luque vs Muhammad Prediction
Even before this fight, Muhammad was not among the top contenders for the top of the division, according to our books. All the big battles he won weren’t in some convincing manner, and that no contest against Edwards was a bit of pure luck for Muhammad, who was looking like a rag doll inside the ring. That is why we suggest betting on Luque’s victory because the Silent Assassin is at a much higher level of fight. On top of that, we’ve seen him defeating some pretty big names in the past, which isn’t the case with Muhammad.
Pick: Luque wins -120 at BetXchange