UFC welterweight contender Vicente Luque knew there was a risk of his UFC 249 rematch against Niko Price could be called off due to the coronavirus pandemic, however he did not it expect to happen on the same day he got his plane ticket for the event.
After seeing his April 11 bout against Randy Brown fall through when the entire UFC Portland card got cancelled, the ‘Silent Assassin’ was quickly moved to the April 18 card against the aforementioned Price, but it was not too long until that event was postponed until further notice.
In an interview with Combate, Luque says that he was aware of the possibility, but was still disappointed when he got the news.
“It was my second fight cancelled because of the coronavirus,” Luque said. “I was going to fight Randy Brown on April 11, the card ended up cancelled, but I kept on training. Once they offered me a spot at UFC 249, I was ready. I took it, but that ended up cancelled, too. I was a little disappointed, sure, but I understood that there was that possibility. The day I got the news, I saw Dana’s announcement about the card not happening. They sent me the plane ticket on the same day, though, for the card.
“Everything was in motion. I didn’t think it was going to be cancelled, I thought it was good to go. I had just trained with Gilbert Burns when I saw the announcement. It was a shock of disappointment. I felt really good for the fight. I was excited to fight, but I understood it wasn’t the UFC’s fault, or Dana White’s, who did everything to make it happen. Obviously, I wanted to fight, but I couldn’t.”
Although Vicente believed the UFC was going to take all precautions in other to hold a safe event for everyone involved, he ended up agreeing with the decision to call it off, but still hopes to return sooner rather than later, maybe on Dana White’s rumored fight island.
“I think the UFC was taking every precaution in order to have a safe event, so I didn’t think it was going to be a problem as long as they followed every step they were going to, to keep everyone safe,” Luque said. “At the same time, I think it’s much safer to wait for the card on the island, since Dana says he’s working to make that happen. I think it was smart move by the UFC to leave it for later, in a safer environment. They won’t just make the fighters be safe, but will also not risk the safety of others who have nothing to do with the event. In that sense, it was a good decision. I’ll wait to see how it goes. If there’s a card on the island, I’ll want to be ready to accept another opportunity.”
In his last outing, Vicente Luque (17-7-1) dropped a unanimous decision to Stephen Thompson back in November 2019. The loss snapped a six-fight winning streak for the 28-year-old, with victories over notable names such as Mike Perry, Bryan Barberena and Niko Price, among others.
White is angling for the UFC to resume on May 9th, with Luque vs. Price among the fights slated for the event.