UFC Welterweight contender Vicente Luque is almost unparalleled when it comes to his finishing ability in the Octagon, with just one of his 12 victories coming by decision.
The Silent Assassin faces Tyron Woodley at UFC 260 in his biggest ever challenge. So prior to that, it’s time to take a look at Vicente Luque’s five best UFC finishes to date.
#1 Vicente Luque vs. Hayder Hassan – UFC on Fox: Dos Anjos vs. Cerrone II
Vincente Luque’s first UFC win came in his second trip to the Octagon, over his TUF 21 castmate Hayder Hassan.
Fans could easily have been forgiven for expecting Hassan to win this one. He’d proven himself to be an exciting knockout artist during his TUF stint, had beaten Luque during the show's tapings, and had only fallen in the finals to future UFC Welterweight champ Kamaru Usman.
Luque, meanwhile, had been grinded out in his own UFC debut by another TUF 21 vet – Michael Graves.
However, the fight turned out to be one-sided in the other direction.
Touted as the superior striker, Hassan was hurt by a right hand from Luque in the early going. And when he shot desperately for a takedown, The Silent Assassin quickly locked up a beautiful anaconda choke.
Seconds later, Hassan was unconscious and twitching before referee Jorge Alonso separated the fighters.
This was a landmark victory for Luque, as not only did he pick up his first UFC finish, but he also claimed his first $50k performance bonus too.
#2 Vicente Luque vs. Belal Muhammad – UFC 205
The UFC’s first show in New York, UFC 205, was comfortably one of the promotion’s biggest-ever – meaning that any fighters taking part were under a massive spotlight.
And rising star Belal Muhammad, who’d won his previous fight in impressive fashion, was hoping to make a big splash.
However, Remember The Name saw his thunder stolen entirely by Vicente Luque, who picked up his fourth UFC victory in a row in violent fashion.
Neither man appeared to want to waste any time once the fight began. The duo exchanged wild punches from the off. But it was Luque who was walking Muhammad down, showing exactly who the predator in the fight was.
After just a minute, Luque countered a combination by landing a crushing left hand that dropped Muhammad hard.
Muhammad attempted to recover, but Luque’s killer instinct kicked in, and he pounced, landing a barrage of follow-up shots that left Muhammad unconscious.
The fight was the fastest finish on the UFC 205 card, and although it didn’t win Luque another bonus cheque, it marked him out as a man to watch at 170lbs.
#3 Vicente Luque vs. Niko Price – UFC Fight Night 119
When the UFC matched Vicente Luque with Niko Price at UFC Fight Night 119 in October 2017, it felt like fireworks were inevitable.
At that point, the two men had a combined UFC record of 7-2, and neither had gone the distance in winning. It seemed like a finish was inevitable.
And sure enough, the fight entirely lived up to the hype.
Both men came out with a massive amount of aggression, and both men were hurt with strikes in a pretty wild first round.
By the second round, though, it became clear that Luque’s shots were doing more damage than Price’s. And midway through the round, The Hybrid was sporting a badly damage left eye.
He decided to swing a haymaker, only for Luque to counter with a crushing left that put Price on the ground. And from there, The Silent Assassin pounced, locking up a tight D’Arce choke to force Price to tap out.
Luque was unfortunate not to receive a bonus cheque for his efforts, but the fight was so good that the UFC booked a rematch between the two three years later.
And in no less of a barnburner, Luque again came away with his hand raised, this time by doctor stoppage.
#4 Vicente Luque vs. Bryan Barberena – UFC on ESPN: Ngannou vs. Velasquez
The UFC’s first-ever show on ESPN saw a Heavyweight clash between Francis Ngannou and Cain Velasquez in the main event.
Despite this, it was Vicente Luque who stole many of the headlines, thanks to his utterly insane fight with Bryan Barberena earlier on the main card.
The fight got off to a quick start when Luque began to hammer Barberena with strikes, walking him down mercilessly. But Bam Bam refused to go away – and appeared to have Luque on the verge of being stopped when he dropped him with a right hand.
Somehow, Luque survived – and came close to a finish himself with a rear-naked choke before the round came to an end.
But this war was only just beginning.
The second round saw the two men trading bombs once again, with neither backing down and both men getting badly hurt at points. Again, though, the round ended with Barberena in survival mode after a knee dropped him.
By the third round, both men were exhausted – but somehow, the pace didn’t slow down, and the brawl continued, with Luque now clearly getting the better of things.
It looked like The Silent Assassin was heading for his first decision win in the UFC. But with literally seconds on the clock, he turned up the heat and eventually finished Barberena with knees with just six seconds remaining.
It was a remarkable finish from the Brazilian, who kept his streak of never letting a victory go to the judges’ scorecards intact. And without a doubt, this was one of the best fights of 2019.
#5 Vicente Luque vs. Randy Brown – UFC Vegas 5
Vicente Luque fought twice in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic. And at August’s UFC Vegas 5 card, he was given a main card showcase against fellow action fighter Randy Brown.
Brown was coming into the fight off the back of two straight wins, and he’d also finished Bryan Barberena, who’d given Luque a hell of a fight a year earlier.
However, Rude Boy was largely outclassed in this one.
Luque took the fight to him early with some heavy strikes, hurting him with a series of low kicks and stumbling him badly with a left hand in the latter part of the round.
Brown survived to get into the second round, but he was clearly being hurt by Luque nearly every time the two exchanged.
And with just seconds remaining in the round, The Silent Assassin once again pulled out a violent finish. This time, it was an elbow to the jaw and a knee to the face that sealed the deal – with Luque actually yanking Brown upwards to land the knee to prevent him from being grounded.
It was yet another savage showing from Luque, and it was enough to set him up for his big fight with Tyron Woodley at UFC 260.