UFC Phoenix Results: Vicente Luque Pulls Off Late Finish in Brawl with Bryan Barberena

Vicente Luque UFC Rochester
Vincente Luque Credit: Dave Mandel/Sherdog.com

In a strong candidate for Fight of the Night at UFC Phoenix, Vicente Luque and Bryan Barberena brawled through nearly the full three rounds before a late finish by the Brazilian.

Vicente Luque is an Ultimate Fighter veteran who has had a very exciting career in the UFC thus far. The Brazilian-American is 7-2 in the Octagon with all of his wins ending before the final bell. After a loss to Leon Edwards in 2017, Luque has rebounded with a submission over Niko Price, and knockouts against Chad Laprise and Jalin Turner.

Bryan Barberena is a scrapper who is 5-3 in the UFC with four stoppages. His most notable win was a submission over Sage Northcutt, and he has shared the cage with top welterweights Leon Edwards and Colby Covington. “Bam Bam” most recently knocked out Jake Ellenberger, and coincidentally, his promotional debut was a knockout win against Jake’s brother, Joe Ellenberger.

As action got underway at UFC on ESPN 1, Luque held center, forcing Barberena to circle on the outside. In short order, Luque had trapped ‘Bam Bam’ against the cage, and connected repeatedly with a right hand that landed hard. Barberena would circle out, only to be caught again, eating a combo but showing little in terms of impact. Barberena would fire back, but his punches weren’t landing as clean.

At least, that is, not until a knockdown late in the fight where Barberena just cracked his opponent. Luque went down, almost in slow motion. Yet when he went to the ground with the Brazilian, Luque was able to take his back! In went the year naked choke, and Barberena was dangerously close to being finished! Somehow, he turned himself around, escaping the choke and finishing the round raining down elbows and hammerfists!

Round two saw Barberena unload on Luque early, their roles having flipped from early in the first. Now it was Barberena trapping his opponent against the cage, throwing combinations. The American would back off any time Luque tried to return fire, and added in some dirty boxing for good measure. Luque went to the body with a kick, hoping to wear Barberena down. The round would continue in back-and-forth fashion until a huge knee landed from Luque, briefly felling Barberena —  but only for a moment!

Round three had Luque and Barberena trading again. Both were landing. Both were proving incredible heart, and frankly, incredible durability. Luque was soon covering up. Barberena just kept coming. The Brazilian wasn’t done, however, and he fired back. Still, Barberena was getting off more blows. And then, just seconds before round’s end, everything changed. With Barberena threatening to win on the scorecards, Luque dropped him late! An right hand on the jaw followed by a pair of knees sent Barberena to the mat. Luque followed up with a few more punches, and the ref waved it off with just seconds remaining!

“My face not going to be the best for the marriage,” Luque joked following the fight, referencing his upcoming nuptials. He’d then call for a top ten opponent next. “I want a top ten, that’s what I want next. I know I deserve it.”

Vicente Luque def. Bryan Barberena by TKO, Round 3, 4:54


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