Vicente Luque hopes to fight Kamaru Usman for the welterweight title.
Luque is coming off an impressive first-round submission win over Tyron Woodley at UFC 260 late last month. It put him on a three-fight winning streak while he has also won nine of his last 10 outings.
A couple more wins and Luque will certainly be in for a shot at the welterweight crown. And Luque likes his chances against many of the top five.
“The top of the division, most of these guys are grapplers,” Luque told MMA Junkie. “A lot of them have good striking, as well, but they’re more grappling oriented. (They’re) trying to tire out their opponents and eventually strike in the later rounds. And having a guy like Woodley try to do that against me – try to tire me out – and I was trying to reverse that and just impose my will and then bring the fight to where I wanted it to play out in the striking, that shows the division that I’m ready to fight these guys and show myself as well, that my wrestling has been evolving a lot in the last years. I’ve been working on it – I just hadn’t faced a wrestler. So it was great to face Woodley right now.
“Eventually I want to face other guys like that. I think Leon Edwards would be a great test. Colby Covington would be another great guy I would like to fight, because if you look at the champion right now, he is an amazing wrestler. He’s been developing his striking, but he’s an amazing wrestler. So if I want to be ready to beat a guy like that, I’ve got to be ready to face tough competition like Colby, like Leon Edwards. They’re going to try to do the same thing against me.”
Luque knows better than most what it’s like to face Usman. After all, they were former teammates at Sanford MMA and still remain friends to this day.
That is also why Luque is hoping Usman remains champion by the time he ends up in a position to challenge for the title.
“I definitely want him to keep that title until I get there unless it’s against Gilbert Burns, because Gilbert Burns is my good friend and we’re always helping each other every single fight,” Luque said. “If he gets that opportunity again, I will be helping him out and I will be hoping for him to be the new champ. In any other case, I would love for Kamaru to still be the champion. We have a great friendship, as well, and we trained many years together. I know how hard he works, I know how much he has been putting into his career. I know what kind of fighter he is and he can really be one of the greatest welterweights ever.
“I would love to eventually get to fight him and have him be the champion and dethrone him. It would be something amazing and I know it would be one of my toughest fights ever. I know Kamaru is a beast. I would love to have him as the champion and have a fight against him.”
How do you like Luque’s chances against Usman?