Exclusive | Vicente Luque Gives His Prediction For Khamzat Chimaev vs. Nate Diaz: “He Still Can Go Out There & Surprise Everybody”

Vicente Luque
Images via MMAFightingJeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC

UFC welterweight contender Vicente Luque has given his take on an upcoming pivotal bout taking place in his own division. Nate Diaz vs. Khamzat Chimaev is set to headline UFC 279 in September, with ‘Borz’ on the precipice of a title shot, whilst his opponent enters the final fight of his UFC contract.

Vicente Luque himself has a fight booked in the welterweight division. ‘The Silent Assasin’ will face off against Geoff Neal in the co-main event of UFC Vegas 59. Ahead of this fight, Luque sat down for a LowKickMMA exclusive interview, where he discussed the upcoming bout between Diaz and Chimaev. He stated:

“I’m always gonna expect Diaz to put on a tough fight. He’s very durable, he has great conditioning. He still has his tricky tools. But I would never put him as favorite for this fight. Not realistically right now, with how the division is moving, with what Chimaev has shown.”

Luque went on to compare Chimaev and Diaz to his teammate, Gilbert Burns:

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“Watching the fight against Gilbert (Burns), I know who Gilbert is, I know how tough he is, and Chimaev went in there and survived. At the end of the day he got a win, and that shows a lot. I know how tough Gilbert is. I know that if I were going to say ‘whose at a higher level right now, Gilbert or Nate?’ Gilbert, all day. He’s at a much higher level.”

Luque does admit that Diaz has the potential upset, but is ultimately backing Khamzat Chimaev to get the win:

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“I gotta put Chimaev as a favorite. I’m not gonna take Diaz’s tools, he still can go out there and surprise everybody. But if I had to put money, I don’t think I would put it on Diaz.”

Vicente Luque Reveals Who He Has Been Training With To Prepare For Geoff Neal

Vicente Luque will square off his fellow welterweight fan favorite Geoff Neal this weekend in the co-main event of UFC Fight Night: Santos vs. Hill. Both Luque and Neal are dangerous strikers who have plethoras of highlight reel KO’s on their records.

In order to prepare for Neal’s clinical southpaw stand-up game, Luque has been specially training with two UFC fighters who are both also southpaws, Danny ‘Hot Chocolate’ Roberts and Takeshi Sato. He stated that:

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“I’ve been working a lot with the southpaws, so Danny (Roberts) has been a big guy to help me out a lot. He’s a great southpaw, he has that great striking, so he has been helping me out. And also (Takeshi) Sato. Sato will be fighting on the same night as me, so we’re kind of in the same timeline physically, we are both in shape. So he has been helping me a lot also because he is southpaw as well.”

How do you see Diaz vs. Chimaev playing out? Do you fancy Luque & Sato’s chances this weekend?

Combat sports journalist based out of the UK. Follow @frankbonada on Twitter for all things MMA and Boxing.