MMA Record: 12-6-1
UFC Record: 5-2
Notable Wins: Niko Price, Belal Muhammad
Notable Losses: Leon Edwards, Michael Graves
Last Fight: Submission win over Niko Price
Fighter Profile: A former competitor on The Ultimate Fighter, Luque has put together a tremendous UFC run so far, as he’s 5-2 with all of his wins coming by knockout or submission. The American-born Brazilian-based fighter is extremely well-rounded with the ability to finish the fight on the feet and on the floor. He’s put together a solid list of wins in the UFC so far, including stoppage wins over the likes of Niko Price and Belal Muhammad. The one concern to his game is his wrestling defense, but if he can improve on his ability to stop the takedown he could emerge as a legitimate welterweight contender.
MMA Record: 13-2
UFC Record: 6-2
Notable Wins: Bryan Barberena, Olivier Aubin-Mercier
Notable Losses: Ross Pearson, Francisco Trinaldo
Last Fight: TKO win over Galore Bofando
Fighter Profile: A former winner of The Ultimate Fighter, Laprise is one of Canada’s best fighters. The TriStar product has a very well-rounded game that includes a solid grappling base to go along with very good striking on the feet with knockout power. After an inconsistent showing as a lightweight in the UFC, Laprise moved up to welterweight and the results have been solid so far as he has won his last three fights by knockout. Laprise is a darkhorse contender at 170lbs, and a win over Luque would shoot him up the ladder.
Fight Breakdown: I honestly think this is the best fight on the entire UFC Chile card, and it’s my pick for “Fight of the Night.” I view both Luque and Laprise as very well-rounded, underrated welterweights and I expect the winner of this fight to get a step up in competition their next time out. I’ve been going back-and-forth on this one, but ultimately I’m going to go with Laprise for the upset, though I’m not super confident in this pick. As good as Luque is at finishing fights, I do have some questions about his ability to win fights that go the full three rounds, whereas I think Laprise has already proven numerous times in his UFC career that he knows how to win a decision. Laprise has a better resume of victories overall in my opinion and while Luque has looked incredible at times, it’s mostly been against a mediocre level of competition. It’s a really tough fight to call and I might be wrong about this one, but a few underdogs on this card will win their fights, and I’ll go with Laprise to take home a close, maybe controversial decision win in what should be a great fight.
Prediction: Laprise via decision