Vicente Luque added another win to his resume with a first-round submission victory over Tyron Woodley in the co-main event of UFC 260 from the Apex Facility in Las Vegas on Saturday.
Luque locked in a D'arce choke after a few wild exchanges in an exciting, albeit short affair.
For a few moments, it looked like a version of Woodley we haven't seen in a long time was going to make a comeback. He was aggressive in trying to control the fight in the opening moments and landed a few of his big right hands.
Unlike the days when those right hands would have folded an opponent in half, Luque kept coming forward and hurt T-Wood with a right hand of his own.
The ensuing madness made for the most entertaining round of the night:
One of those right hands floored the former champion and Luque sunk in the choke before he had time to defend. The tap wasn't too far behind.
The finish makes Luque one of the most lethal fighters in the history of the welterweight division:
It's getting harder and harder to deny that Luque is in the top tier of the welterweight division. He has now won nine of his last 10 fights spanning back to 2017, and The Silent Assasin isn't so silent anymore.
Luque's only losses in the last four years have come against some of the top talents in the division.
Unanimous-decision losses to Stephen Thompson and Leon Edwards are really the only thing holding back his resume, and he's already stated he would especially love to run back his fight with Edwards.
"Leon Edwards has defeated me, and he's a great fighter," Luque told Guilherme Cruz of MMA Fighting. "He put on an incredible winning streak together since then, and I think that would be a great rematch. I want a rematch with [Stephen] Thompson as well, but [Edwards is] the one that tempts me more today."
Unfortunately, that's a fight that Luque might not be getting soon. Edwards' recent return to the Octagon after more than a year away ended in an unfortunate no-contest with Belal Muhammad because of an accidental eye poke.
It's fair for Luque to continue calling out top-ranked opponents now. A win over a former champion like Woodley brings new credibility to his resume.
Even at 38 years old, Woodley is an athletic, dangerous fighter. But Luque has proved he's plenty dangerous in his own right, and his sights should be set on an even bigger matchup in his next fight.