Vicente Luque and Belal Muhammad faced off in a Welterweight clash tonight (Sat., April 16, 2022) at UFC Vegas 51 inside UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada. In a really smart fight, Muhammad earned the decision victory.
Luque began the fight with pressure, walking Muhammad down and lining up kicks. Muhammad circled the cage and tried to answer with the jab. Muhammad landed a pair of hard body kicks at distance. Luque answered with some shots of his own, but Muhammad scored a well-timed double leg with two minutes remaining in the round.
Settling in full guard, Muhammad chipped away with strikes. After a minute of control, Luque moved to scramble, giving up his back in the process. Luque escaped, moving into the clinch, and the round ended soon afterward.
Luque pressed hard to begin the second, sticking his opponent with some jabs and low kicks. Muhammad landed a sharp 1-2 down the middle in response. The two continued to trade in short exchanges, as Muhammad remained on his bike and picked his moments. Luque’s calf kicks were beginning to land with better consistency, and he scored hard to the body as well.
Muhammad scored a second double leg in the latter half of the round. Once more, Muhammad landed inside the guard and went to work with short shots. Again, Luque turned his back in an attempt to stand, and it worked! Muhammad landed a hard body kick before the bell.
Luque landed a really heavy left hook early in the third, and it wobbled Muhammad’s knees. Luque followed up with body shots and another hard left hook. He really turned up the intensity, landing heavy blows and forcing Muhammad to panic wrestle. Luque denied his initial shots, but a well-timed double leg trip landed Muhammad in top position yet again. This time, however, Luque was back up quickly, and he landed some solid shots before time ran out.
The pattern continued into the fourth, as Luque started with aggression, low kicks, and left hand strikes. Muhammad was on his back foot, but he once again timed another double leg quite well to gain top position. Muhammad advanced into side control, but Luque spun underneath and escaped out the back door relatively quickly. Back on the feet, both men connected on some heavy punches, with Luque having the overall edge in shots landed in the fourth frame.
Luque came out with a sense of urgency in the fifth, but Muhammad landed first. After a pair of failed shots, Muhammad avoided a submission attempt and landed another takedown. Securing one hook, Muhammad controlled his foe for quite some time along the cage. Luque escaped with about a minute remaining, and he needed to do something dramatic.
It didn’t happen. Muhammad earned the nod on all three judges’ scorecards, executing his game plan very well to avoid Luque’s best shots and control the Brazilian for long periods of time.
Result: Belal Muhammad defeats Vicente Luque via unanimous decision (49-46, 49-46, 48-47)
For complete UFC Vegas 51: “Muhammad vs. Luque” results and play-by-play, click HERE!