Luque vs Muhammad UFC Betting Pick

We’re diving deep on Luque vs Muhammad at UFC on ESPN 34. The UFC on ESPN 34 betting odds are coming to their closing positions with Luque falling 8 points since we covered the full card betting preview. Scroll to see stats, coverage of past fights, and our top prop betting picks for UFC Fight Night’s main event, Vicente Luque vs Belal Muhammad, April 16th 2022. 

Top pick for Luque vs Muhammad

Luque is still our number one moneyline. His inside the distance bet is too good to pass up. He finished Muhammad in just seventy seconds in fight one, and his four fight finishing streak speaks to this being the best Luque we’ve ever seen. He’s the obvious choice for an Usman or Chimaev fight, and he’ll be looking for the big win to prove he’s the best. I don’t think a decision victory is okay in Luque’s book, and he recognizes the value of chasing a stoppage. His 76% finishing ratio overall is 80% over his last five and 100% over his last four. 

Tale of the Tape for UFC Fight Night: Luque vs Muhammad 

Fighter Vincente ‘The Silent Assassin’ Luque Belal ‘Remember the Name’  Muhammad 
Age 30 33
Height 5’11’’ 5’11’’
Reach/Stance 75’’ Orthodox 72’’ Orthodox 
Record 21-7-1 20-3, 1 NC
Submissions/TKO in UFC 5/8 1/1
Fighter Training Camp Sanford MMA, Various Valle Flow Striking, Various 

Belal is the older fighter with less total experience. He has only one advantage on paper, less total losses. The majority of Luque’s losses were prior to his switch to Sanford MMA in 2017. Since that time, he’s lost to Thompson and no other fighters. At the UFC level, both fighters have only one loss. 
The finishing power of Luque can’t be denied, especially over the last five fights. Muhammad’s two finishes come from fifteen UFC appearances, a 13% finishing rate. Compared to a 76% finishing rate from Luque, Belal has hardly any finishing power. Both of Belal’s finishes were in the third round as well, and if you believe Muhammad will dictate the pace of the fight, stear clear of any Under props. 

UFC On ESPN 34 Betting Odds for Luque vs Muhammad 

Bet Available at Odds  
Luque Money Line -182
Muhammad Money Line +147
Over 1 ½ Rounds  -325
Under 1 ½ Rounds  +230
Over 2 ½ Rounds -200
Under 2 ½ Rounds  +150
Over 3 ½ Rounds  -130
Under 3 ½ Rounds  EVEN
Under 4 ½ Rounds  -125
Will the fight go the Distance, Yes EVEN
Will the fight go the Distance, No -130
Luque by TKO +200
Luque by Submission +300
Luque inside the Distance  +110
Muhammad inside the Distance +475

The Under 4 ½ Rounds is a good bet for any fans of Muhammad who beleive he can take in the championship rounds. I will say that Belal’s pace is better suited for longer fights. Luque tends to get to work early on and have less impressive late rounds, as with Thompson. 

The Wonderboy Fights

Luque fought Wonderboy back in 2019. He won the first round but faded in the next two rounds, landing only 14 strikes to Thompson’s 55. Despite losing the fight, he went for no takedown attempts and it cost him. Muhammad won the fight with seven total takedowns, and landed more total punches in all three rounds. This was in 2021, after Thompson faded a bit. Still, the story is undeniable, Belal is the better wrestler, but perhaps a better strategist. For this reason, I won’t be betting any Over/Unders. Luque will either catch the finish, or Belal will win a five round grinding decision win. 

Top Prop Bets for Luque vs Muhammad

Luque inside the distance is our top bet. Fight will end inside the distance only covers for the rare Belal Muhammad win, which hardly ever happens, and pays far less than the Luque prop. Any other fight goes the distance bets or finishing bets are assuming too much. Muhammad fought four months ago, and Luque has been off nine months. That’s plenty of time to recreate pieces of your game and develop a winning strategy for either fighter. Stick with our top pick, don’t get misguided by the props. Muhammad fans will still look for bets on him and I would play it super safe with a money line that isn’t on a parlay. 

Luque vs Muhammad MMA Breakdown

Their first fight ended in a brutal TKO. Belal has survived flurries of shots from other knockout artists and since 2018 has re-centered his focus on a takedown heavy fight game. He was knocked down by Geoff Neal, Alan Jouban, and Luque but surveyed Means and Thompson. 

Luque vs Muhammad Fight 1

Check out the footage of the first fight. It was pretty one sided. 

Muhammad’s boxing has evolved some, but not enough that he’ll be getting the better of Luque on the feet. Luque connected on Muhammad with ease, virtually no headmovment or defensive boxing in his path. This was a short fight, but Muhammad’s boxing evolved since that time, defeating Demian Maia on the feet 2:1 in 2021.

Vicente Luque’s Takedown Defense

Takedowns are going to play a major role in the Belal Muhammad gameplan. Our betting pick implies that Luque i’ll be looking for the submission off of these opportunities. The majority of Luque’s choke wins come off of defending takedown attempts from inside the clench. His percentage is 64%, giving up only one takedown maximum in any fight since his loss to Leon Edwards, before his move to Sanford MMA.
I belvie the switch to Sanford MMA fixed his takedown defensive tactics, and we’ll see Luque get takedown down, but Muhammad will be unable to maintain position under the threat of D’arce chokes. 

Belal Muhammad Stiking Defense

Muhammad defeated Thompson with good takedowns, not with good kickboxing. Overall, he gets hit an average of 3.51 times per minute inside the cage. Compare that to the fighters who’ve defeated Luque- Thompson at 2.81 (mostly on the ground,) Edwards at 2.15, and Michael Graves at 1.47. Graves was cut from the UFC in 2016, but he took very little damage. 
Muhammad get’s hit far more often than these fighters, and he can be knocked out by Luque’s power. I don’t see a way for his style to avoid getting hit for five rounds, and could even see Luque clipping him with a big shot late in the fight. 

UFC on ESPN 34 Luque vs Muhammad Wrap Up

If you’re developing your combat sports ticket for the weekend, think about adding Luque’s moneyline as a parlay bet rather than the +110 finishing bet. Luque can win decisions, and winning the first three but losing rounds four and five by conditioning is a possibility. Luque is still one of the best finishers in the welterweight division, one filled with decision fighters like Edwards, Belal, and Usman. Expect Luque to win tonight with a big finish, but hit a wall against Usman, Burns or Chimaev. 

Jacob Clark / Author

Jacob Clark had a 15 year career as a professional MMA fighter, coach, and Greg Jackson’s alum. Now, TikTok’s 12th most important BJJ influencer is bringing his sports and betting knowledge to you here at TheSportsGeek. He spends his time cooking vietnamese food and playing D&D with his family. You can meet him at jiu-jitsu open mats all over Indiana.

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