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MMA Preview: UFC 54 on ESPN – Vicente Luque (22-9-1) vs. Joaquin Buckley (17-6-0)

Vicente Luque was originally meant to fight Sean Brady at UFC on ESPN 54, but Brady gave up on the fight due to an injury. Joaquin Buckley stepped in to save the day. He didn’t have a full camp, but he should be able to put on a good fight on March 30.

Vicente Luque vs. Joaquin Buckley Odds

Vicente Luque-110
Joaquin Buckley-120
*Odds taken from Sports Odds Direct on Friday March 29.

When, Where, and How to Watch?

  • Place: Boardwalk Hall, Atlantic City, New Jersey
  • Date: Saturday, March 30, 2024
  • Time: ~3:00 p.m. ET
  • How to Watch: ESPN

Vicente Luque (22-9-1) has fought who’s who of the UFC Welterweight Division so far, beating such elite opponents as Belal Muhammad, Mike Perry, and Rafael dos Anjos.

The win over dos Anjos ended Luque’s two-fight losing streak. That’s not the only reason why this fight is so important for the Silent Assassin.

It happened last summer, when we saw him land 72 significant strikes and eight takedowns in a five-round battle that he won in the end by unanimous decision.

It was his third win by decision, while he also has eight wins by submission in his portfolio, along with 11 wins by knockout/technical knockout.

This is no surprise given that he’s a fantastic striker with 5.17 significant strikes. Luque also has amazing grappling skills, which is not surprising considering that he’s a Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt.

Joaquin Buckley is 17-6 overall with 12 wins by knockout/technical knockout and five by decision. He’s got no wins by submission, but also no losses by this method. This is because he’s great when it comes to defending against takedowns.

However, he hasn’t fought too many wrestling experts so far in the UFC. In fact, in each of his last four fights, his opponent was someone who lands under 1.0 takedowns per 15 minutes. In comparison, his next opponent averages 1.04 per three rounds.

In his most recent fight, Buckley beat Alex Morono by unanimous decision in a fight in which he made two TDs and suffered one. Morono is a fantastic grappler, but he just doesn’t make too many TDs. Instead, he focuses more on striking.

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