Price vs Luque: A Promoter’s Dream
By James Lee
As the sporting world will fixate on Saturday’s UFC 249 main event between Tony Ferguson and Justin Gaethje, it cannot go unstated that all those competing on the card are worthy of the highest praise externally, but crucially internally.
The conviction to fight for the UFC and the fans during this unprecedented period cannot be undervalued. Similarly, the efforts of the UFC cannot also. The sporting world is most likely anticipating the plethora of talent across the card, from Francis N’Gannou, Henry Cejudo, Donald Cerrone and Dominick Cruz. Despite that, a special mention must go to Vicente Luque and Niko Price; a pair who signify a promoter’s dream and deserve the shared respect amongst the card.
Although progressively inconsequential, the fight cannot be missed and cannot disappoint. Those outside will not be fixating on the match, but after its conclusion, they most likely will.
Two stand up fighters who continuously go forward, but most importantly, finish fights or continually attempt to. Just one of Price’s eighteen professional contests have gone the full distance. Luque has gone the distance seven of his twenty-seven matches; however, nine of his ten UFC wins have come by finish.
The pair’s merciless pursuit of aggression in every second of combat far exceeds the thrill of most and gears the weekend’s contest as essential viewing. They are collectively a rare breed and one not only deserving of praise but of the opportunity to fight in what should be such a landmark event for the UFC and sport in general at this time.
The pair previously fought in October 2017 with the Brazilian winning by submission in the second round. However, a lot has changed since. Luque especially has gone on to challenge some of the division’s best, winning some, but falling short to the very best like Stephen Thompson in his last contest.
Despite that, the grit and skill he showed earned him extensive plaudits. Price similarly has beaten notable names like Tim Means and James Vick since, as he has accumulated four performance bonuses in his four-year tenure in the sport’s largest promotion.
Unusually, the pair have not been awarded many opportunities to climb the division, but that is what makes the welterweight division uniquely different. The sheer amount of top quality fighters at 170 lbs means a quick push up the division is rare. A collection of a long winning streak is necessary before being given a chance at the division’s best, and the vast influx of talent makes it hard for the cycle to ever change.
Importantly, they are part of a welterweight pact that makes the division stand out. In terms of excitement, the welterweight division is above all. The amount of talent makes for a shark tank of a division, and Saturday’s fight will be yet another showcase of that.
Not the most talented fighters in the world, but most exciting, definitely. The mixture of skill and excitement is what the sport was built on, and UFC President Dana White can be little but gratified at having Price and Luque on his roster.
Although those at the top of the division may receive the majority of praise, the welterweight division is the sport’s best because of fighters like Niko Price and Vicente Luque. UFC 249 will confirm that.