Vicente Luque is going to be part of future welterweight contender conversations following his performance at UFC 265, says UFC president Dana White.
Luque earned his fourth consecutive win — and second by D’Arce choke — when he submitted Michael Chiesa in the first round of their fight on Saturday. White was left in awe by Luque and praised him for making such a bold statement by submitting Chiesa, who is obviously known for his grappling prowess. Now that he holds a win over another name in the upper echelon of the welterweight division, White has no doubt that Luque should be talked about alongside those currently sitting at the top.
“He is now [a top welterweight],” said White during his post-fight press conference. “You can’t talk about [the division] without talking about him now. First of all, that kid is fun to watch. When he beat [Tyron] Woodley, Woodley was a former world champion but he hadn’t won a fight in three years, you know what I mean? He beat Woodley — okay. Tonight, not only did he beat Michael Chiesa, but when he went for that choke, I was like, ‘Why are you trying to submit Michael Chiesa? Get back up on your feet and whatever!’ And he got it. He did it.
“I love to watch that kid fight,” continued White. “He’s exciting. He’s a killer and I look forward to what is next for him. And yes, you can’t talk about all the top guys in the world without talking about Luque now.”
Luque currently sits at No. 6 in the rankings, but that could change come Monday morning and get him one step closer to the championship opportunity he is seeking. He used his time on the microphone during his post-fight interview to send a message to the current champion, Kamaru Usman about meeting in the future. Usman is preparing to defend his title against Colby Covington at UFC 268, but responded to Luque and showed interest in a potential fight.
Luque is unsure if that championship opportunity against Usman is next for him, but he knows he is deserving of it.
“I’m the only guy up there in the top five that hasn’t fought the champion, that hasn’t challenged Kamaru for a fight,” said Luque during his post-fight press conference. “He still has a fight ahead of him, but I believe he will win that fight. If he does, [then] I think I would be a great challenge.”