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Midnight Mania! Welterweight Vicente Luque details knocking out former 205-pound title challenger Thiago Santos

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UFC 265: Lewis v Gane Photo by Mike Roach/Zuffa LLC

Welcome to Midnight Mania!

Vicente Luque has quietly proven himself one of the best finishers on the roster. In 14 UFC victories, Luque has knocked out or submitted all but one opponent, including a stoppage win over his opponent tomorrow night, Belal Muhammad. He’s aggressive, powerful, and highly opportunistic.

The most interesting bit of trivia regarding Luque occurred long before his UFC career, however. Back in 2012, Luque was still figuring out his approach to MMA and held a pedestrian (3-2-1) record as a professional. Still, when an opportunity arose to fight an undefeated (7-0) kickboxer, Luque rolled the dice.

That kickboxer turned out to be Thiago Santos, a far bigger man! “Marreta” was a weight class above “The Silent Assassin” even back then, and now he fights at 205-pounds, where he once fought Jon Jones for the UFC title. Santos actually took Jones the distance and lost a split-decision, but his bout vs. Luque ended far more decisively. While speaking with Just Scrap Radio on BJPENN.com, Luque told his story about knocking out Santos.

“So that was early in both of our careers, I was training and I got this fight on like three weeks’ notice, something like that,” Luque said . “We knew he was a striker and that’s why we took the fight, I’m a striker as well. Okay, three weeks but it’s a striker, it makes sense it’s going to be the same game. We go there after flying in and when I get to the city we are fighting in, I arrived late so I wasn’t able to weigh in and make the faceoff, so I weighed in with the commission and went back to the hotel and did my recovery.

“The only time I saw Thiago was at the moment of the fight. He wasn’t like how he is now but he was a big guy and I looked at him and was like ‘man what did I get myself into? it didn’t make sense.’ I thought I had to go in there and knock him out as quick as possible and not get hit and it worked out,” Luque continued. “I think it was like 15 seconds, 20 seconds, it was really quick. It was a big win that was a win later on when they were considering putting me on The Ultimate Fighter they saw I had that win and Thiago was already in the UFC, so it made sense. It was a big win in my career.”

Check out the clip below:

It’s not quite as bizarre as Lightweight champ BJ Penn facing eventual Light Heavyweight kingpin Lyoto Machida, but this is still a pretty incredible win on Luque’s record! Even back in 2012, that left hook was nasty.

LIVE! Stream UFC Vegas 55 On ESPN+

Bantamweight Battle! Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) returns to UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada, on Sat., May 21, 2022, with a must-watch women’s Bantamweight contenders’ bout between former champion and No. 2-ranked contender, Holly Holm, taking on No. 5-seeded Ketlen Vieira. In UFC Vegas 55’s co-main event, No. 14-ranked Santiago Ponzinibbio will lock horns with Michel Pereira in an absolute Welterweight firecracker.

Don’t miss a single second of face-punching action!

Seven Weeks Of Self-Promotion

It’s somehow been about six months since my last fight, and I’m once again booked to compete, this time at Urijah Faber’s A-1 Combat promotion in Sacramento, California on May 28.

As with all my pro fights, I raise funds to cover camp costs/actually make a profit via the fight banner. $5 or more gets your name/screen name/nickname on the fight banner, and it enters you into a raffle to win the banner itself. Payment options include venmo: AndyLRichardson (1572), PayPal, or the latest GoFundMe page. Complete details are HERE!

I hugely appreciate the MMAMania community support (financial or otherwise) for both my writing and fighting careers. Thank you!

Insomnia

A trio of fight announcements in the coming months; I’m glad to see Cody Stamann get another chance after his recent rough patch.

My Russian is, uhhh, not so good, but Petr Yan doesn’t seem that devastated about his loss last weekend.

Leon Edwards, likable as ever.

Alright then, keep your secrets.

A positive update from Kevin Lee after his last fight/apparent injury!

A quick video for my “Bullet” fans:

Slips, rips, and KO clips

Click through for an entire thread of holiday madness! Happy Easter?

This is an awesome finish, but all I can think is how much more often it would happen if upkicks were legalized when the opponent in top position was kneeling ...

A 32-year-old knockout from the boxing ring:

Random Land

Fun with sleds!

Midnight Music: I checked out the latest Black Country, New Road LP, Ants From Up There, which came out back in February. Their sophomore album is a bit less noisy than their debut record, and overall, it really reminds me of a post-rocky version of Arcade Fire’s Funeral — which is really high praise if you know anything about the Canadian indie band!

Sleep well Maniacs! More martial arts madness is always on the way.