WelterweightsVicente Luque (15-6-1) vs. Derrick Krantz (22-10)
THE ODDS: N/A
Luque will not get a chance at his big breakthrough win, but at least he will have the opportunity to bring some violence.
The UFC slow-played Luque on the welterweight ladder despite his penchant for quick finishes, but the Brazilian finally made a name for himself in February, winning a “Fight of the Year” contender against Bryan Barberena. The knock on Luque has always been his gas tank, as he throws everything into seeking the finish, but in his encounter with Barberena, he fought through exhaustion to win exchanges, eventually scoring a knockout in the last 10 seconds of the fight. This was originally supposed to be Luque taking on Neil Magny, the perennial gatekeeper to the divisional elite, but with the latter having been pulled from the bout on just a few days’ notice, he draws a UFC newcomer in Krantz. The well-traveled Krantz has certainly earned this shot, as he has been fighting for over a decade against a strong slate of competition, and his toughness and willingness to exchange should make this a fun fight.
If Krantz survives early, he has enough veteran savvy that he might be able to win some rounds once Luque exhausts himself. However, between the Brazilian’s power and the short-notice circumstances, the pick is Luque via late first-round stoppage.
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