Vicente Luque and Stephen Thompson have been matched up at UFC 244 in a key welterweight bout that serves as a step up for Luque.
The UFC”s return to New York may not have a title fight atop the card, but it continues to add star power. On Tuesday, ESPN was first to report news of Stephen Thompson vs. Vicente Luque being added to card card. That report cited UFC President Dana White. For Luque, it will be his biggest test yet, against a former UFC title challenger.
Luque (17–6–1), now in his prime at 27 years old, has won six straight in the UFC dating back to 2017. The American-born Brazilian most recently defeated Mike Perry in a split decision at UFC Uruguay last month. That encounter left Perry with a nose looking like something out of a horror movie.
Prior to that, ‘The Silent Assassin’ had dispatched of Derrick Krantz at UFC Rochester. Krantz had stepped up as a short notice replacement for Neil Magny, which would have been a solid opponent, rankings-wise, for Luque.
Thompson is that much better. ‘Wonderboy’ twice fought Tyron Woodley for 170lb gold, coming up short both times by a razor thin margin. The first bout, at UFC 205, ended in a draw, while the second, at UFC 209, was a majority decision for Woodley, who would eventually lose the title to Kamaru Usman.
Since then, Thompson (14-4-1) has defeated Jorge Masvidal, only to come up short against Darren Till and Anthony Pettis.
Luque is from nearby New Jersey, and should have something in the way of crowd support at the event.
UFC 244 takes place November 2, 2019 at Madison Square Garden in New York City. A non-title scrap between Nate Diaz and Jorge Masvidal tops the card. Unless you’re counting the ‘bad motherf*cker’ title, in which case gold is on the line.