UFC 249: Vicente Luque vs Niko Price Preview
By Jack Maher
Deep on the pre-lims of UFC 249, there lies a strong fight-of-the-night contender in the form of the rematch between welterweight contenders Vicente Luque and Niko Price.
The two met back in 2016, with Luque submitting Price in the second round to hand him his first professional loss.
The win over Price was the first of a six-fight winning streak for the Brazilian, which featured five finishes. Luque’s win streak was snapped in his last outing when he dropped a decision to Stephen Thompson last November.
Luque is as durable as they come, managing to go the full three rounds against Thompson despite absorbing a large amount of damage. Last February, Luque won in a fight-of-the-year contender against Bryan Barberena, enduring a beating from Barberena for the majority of the fight before rallying late on to score a knockout in the final seconds. His durability is an enviable quality, but not one he should chose to rely heavily on against the heavy-handed Price.
Price has finished 13 of his 14 wins, and has became a fan favourite among sections of the audience for his trademark unorthodox knockouts that seem to come out of nowhere, going as far as scoring knockouts whilst lying flat on his back. He is dangerous wherever the fight goes and a threat to any opponent.
Both men are considerably dangerous, with a combined 28 finishes between them. Similarly, both men have struggled defensively at times, often seeing their respective fights turn in to back-and-forth brawls, which in credit to both men, they tend to win.
The respective styles of both men make this a very intriguing fight, when broken down to it’s simplest form, it is a clash between a man who typically doesn’t get finished against someone who has become renowned for finishing his opponents.
Whoever wins the fight will likely have to call upon a stronger defensive performance than they have shown in the past, both being fighters who rely on their offence, they will need to be aware of each others dangerous skill set.
While there are no guarantees in MMA, the most likely outcome will either be a quick knockout secured through a defensive lapse, or a fan-friendly brawl where both men’s natural desire to brawl it out and wild fighting styles will be on show for all to see.