In an interview with the South China Morning Post, Vicente Luque was asked to share his thoughts on the underlying narrative in the MMA community concerning Tyron Woodley's recent decline. Luque told interviewer John Hyon Ko that Tyron Woodley has only lost to the top fighters of their division, and that underestimating him because of these losses is a mistake he is not going to make:
"Oh, I definitely do. I definitely think fans just (forget how good Tyron Woodley is). Win or lose, people are always going to think that you are done and if I think that about Woodley, that's the biggest mistake I can do. if I just go, 'okay this guy is done, I am going to retire him,' no. I think he is getting ready to show everyone that he is still that guy that was a champion."
"Losing to the three best in the world is not like, man you're done. No, you lost to the three best guys in the world for the reason that they're the best guys. I am going to be ready for the best Woodley, maybe better than the Woodley that everybody has seen. Just in case, I don't want to get there and be surprised and I am gonna be ready for the best version of him," Vicente Luque said.
Vicente Luque fight will determine Tyron Woodley's place at the top of the welterweight division
Vicente Luque's comments about Tyron Woodley are in response to a popular narrative that has taken root since the former champ's back-to-back losses over the last two years. Having reigning supreme over the welterweight division since becoming the undisputed champion in 2016, Tyron Woodley lost his title to current champion Kamaru Usman in a lopsided five-round fight in 2019.
Woodley then went on to lose his next two fights against Gilbert Burns and Colby Covington in a similar fashion in 2020. The fact that T-Wood lost all fourteen rounds in those three fights, with at least three of the rounds being 10-8, has raised concerns in the MMA community over his future.
Vicente Luque (19-7-1 MMA, 12-3 UFC) is the No.10 ranked fighter in the welterweight division. The 29-year-old is Tyron Woodley's youngest and lowest-ranked opponent of his recent fights.
Calls for Woodley's retirement will only get louder if he loses his fourth straight fight against Vicente Luque at UFC 260. The former champ might find himself in more fights against young up-and-comers who can make a name for themselves by taking him out.
Tyron Woodley and Vicente Luque are slated to fight on the main card of the UFC 260 PPV event on March 27, 2021, at the UFC Apex facility in Las Vegas. The event will be headlined by the heavyweight title fight rematch between champion Stipe Miocic and Francis Ngannou.