Belal Muhammad Scores Betting Upset Versus Vicente Luque at UFC Vegas 51

UFC MMA Cage Muhammad Vs Luque Background

  • Belal Muhammad upset Vicente Luque as the +150 underdog at the UFC Vegas 51 main event.
  • Muhammad used his wrestling prowess to beat Luque via unanimous decision with scored of 49-46, 49-46, and 48-47.
  • After the fight, Muhammad called for a bout against no. 1 ranked welterweight Colby Covington.

The UFC Vegas 51 main card began with three of four betting favorites winning their respective assignments.

Pat Sabatini, Mayra Bueno Silva, and Caio Borralho proved the oddsmakers correct by picking up victories at the UFC Apex last Saturday night. Only Andr Fialho, who was a slight +150 underdog at BetOnline, was able to pull off the betting upset.

Then came Belal Muhammad.

Muhammad faced no. 5 welterweight Vicente Luque in the UFC Vegas 51 main event in a rematch of their UFC 205 bout in 2016 where Luque knocked out Muhammad in the opening round.

Upset Alert

Luque was listed at -170 on the day of the weigh-ins and closed at -180 odds via the BetOnline App. The Silent Assassin opened the fight on the front foot, applying pressure on Muhammad, who circled the cage and answered with his jab. Muhammad landed the first takedown in the fight and chipped away with top control for over a minute before Luque escaped and moved to the clinch. After one round, the odds got closer to -120 for Luque and -110 for Muhammad.

Round 2 went almost the same way with Muhammad landing another double-leg in the second half of the round and doing damage on the ground. At the end of Round 2, Muhammad had turned the tide and became the -285 favorite with Luque falling to +220. Luque rallied in the third and hurt Muhammad with a hard left hand. With Luque landing big shots, Muhammad was forced to wrestle and landed a third takedown to douse Luque’s rally. Still, Luque re-emerged as the betting favorite at the live odds market, going at -160 after three rounds.

Muhammad’s wrestling was the key to round 4 once again as he took the fight down with another well-timed double leg and controlled Luque from the top. With four rounds done, Muhammad’s live odds went back to -285 and Luque returned to -220. Round 5 was much of the same, as he landed his fifth takedown of the fight and hold his opponent to the ground. After five rounds, the judges gave Muhammad the nod 49-46, 49-46, and 48-47 in an upset win.

Muhammad Called out Colby Covington

With the win, Muhammad will likely take over Luque’s spot as the 5th ranked welterweight in the UFC and put himself closer to title contention. But during his post-fight Octagon interview, Muhammad didn’t even bother to ask for a title shot. Instead, he called out a fighter whom h labeled as “big-mouth Karen” in Colby Covington.

Covington is the UFC’s no. 1 ranked contender and is coming off an impressive UFC 272 win over Jorge Masvidal and doesn’t have anyone on his schedule. But while Covington is unbooked, UFC President Dana White previously stated that Covington would be next if Khamzat Chimaev defeated Gilbert Burns at UFC 273. With Borz doing just that, it’s expected that he and Covington would be next. In fact, Covington has opened as the +170 underdog against the no. 3 ranked Chimaev.

It remains to be seen whether Belal Muhammad will get his wish of fighting Covington next. But as far as proving that he belongs to the elites at 170 pounds, there’s no doubt that Muhammad did that last Saturday night. Not only did he get his revenge against Luque, but he also got his respect as a Top welterweight in the UFC.

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Shane Acedera / Author

Shane grew up watching the Magic & Bird rivalry but ended up rooting for Detroit's Bad Boys team in the 1990s NBA. He loves to tell sports stories and has been writing about sports since high school. When Shane isn't busy jotting down his thoughts, he's just chillin' at home with his wife Rocelle and their two dogs named Horry and Fisher. He recently added a new family member, adopting a handsome retired K-9 named Ranger.

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