Vicente Luque vs. Belal Muhammad preview and prediction

UFC Vegas 51: Vicente Luque vs. Belal Muhammad preview and prediction

After an incredible UFC 273 card last weekend in Jacksonville, FL, the UFC is back in the UFC Apex for UFC Vegas 51, led by the rematch between Vicente Luque and Belal Muhammad. This is a crucial match for welterweight as this top 5 fight will shape the division for a potential future title challenger.

These two men first fought at UFC 205 in 2016 when they were both young in their respective careers. Luque went into this fight as an underdog, proving many doubters wrong. He knocked Muhammad down with a left hook and finished it off with ground and pound to earn the TKO victory.

From the third fight in the prelims to headlining a map, they’ve both improved tremendously after their first fight.

UFC Vegas 51: Vicente Luque vs. Belal Muhammad Prediction

Muhammad is 10-1 since losing to Luque. He also had an NC against Leon Edwards during this period in 2021. Nine of those wins were by decision and one by assist, when he defeated Takashi Sato via rear naked choke.

Muhammad brings a strong wrestling game with his improved punch. In his last two bouts, Muhammad showed his ability to land a lot of takedowns and defend takedowns as well. In his fight with Demian Maia he defended 20 of 21 takedowns.

In his last fight with talented forward Stephen Thompson, Muhammad landed seven of nine takedowns with an overall control time of 11:57. Two judges gave Mohammed a unanimous decision of 30-26, while one judge gave 30-25 for his dominance in the fight.

Muhammad isn’t the only one getting hot leads in this fight.

Luque is 10-2 since defeating Muhammad and is most recently on a four-fight win streak while ending all of them. In this series he’s on, Luque has taken down the likes of Niko Price, Randy Brown, Tyron Woodley, and Michael Chiesa.

In his last fight at UFC 265 against Chiesa, Luque really showed how dangerous he can be when entering the octagon. Chiesa successfully landed his first takedown and immediately got Luque’s back. Chiesa attempted two submissions that looked really deep, but then Luque broke and reversed the position. Shifting on the floor, Luque found an opening for his D’Arce choke, which he likes to do, and locked it in for his fourth straight finish.

Luque brings a varied fighting style that is very tough on his opponents. His hitting ability is very good and has also improved. Mixes his shots to the body and head, and also attacks the legs. On the ground, Luque is no joke as he is a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and has a very dangerous D’Arce choke.

Mohammed wants to take revenge six years ago and has a good chance of doing so. The rematch will look very different as both men have vastly improved their game and craft.

While the rematch at UFC Vegas 51 will be different, the outcome may not be. Muhammad will look a lot better than last time, but Luque might be too much to handle. The fight starts on his feet, but when it goes to the ground, Luque can find an opening and quickly earn a submission win.

Prediction: Luque by submission

UFC Vegas 51: Vicente Luque vs. Belal Muhammad 2 takes place live from the UFC Apex on Saturday, April 16, 2022. Follow FanSided MMA for all your news and highlights. Vicente Luque vs. Belal Muhammad preview and prediction

John Verrall

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