Over three rounds, Luque and Perry battered each other with the kind of power that would likely put most welterweights down and out. Somehow both survived to the final bell but it was Luque getting the nod by split decision with the scores reading 29-28, 29-28 and 28-29 after 15 minutes.
“He’s a tough guy,” Luque said about Perry. “This is my first decision win in the UFC and it couldn’t be against a tougher guy than Perry. It was a tough fight. I’m proud of my work and ready to go again.”
Despite facing a noted knockout artist, Luque felt no fear pressing forward in the opening round with a tactical game plan that saw him put a series of straight punches in Perry’s face. Perry returned fire with pure power behind every punch as he repeatedly looked to take Luque’s head off with one shot.
It was surgical precision from Luque that ultimately did more damage as he chewed up Perry’s lead leg with kicks and opened several cuts on his face thanks to those well-placed punches.
While Luque was seemingly the more technical fighter, he still had to be wary of the flurry of shots coming from Perry any time was given a moment to set up his combinations.
There was no backing down from either man with Perry swinging hammers and Luque continuing to cut up his face with quick, accurate punches. As much power as Perry was putting behind everything being thrown, he was still showcasing remarkable patience not to engage in a pure slugfest.
Late in the final round, Luque uncorked a perfectly placed jumping knee that mashed Perry’s nose before he opted to alter his strategy to look for a takedown. Luque countered with a guillotine choke and once the fighters hit the ground, a pool of blood started to collect on the mat with Perry’s nose leaking like a fountain.
When the fight ended, Perry stood up to reveal his severely broken nose while Luque celebrated his victory in a grueling battle over all three rounds.
Thanks to his current win streak, Luque believes it’s finally time for a top 10 ranked opponent and he has his sights set on a former two-time title challenger for his next fight.
“I’m ready to fight anybody in the top 10. I know [Stephen] “Wonderboy” [Thompson] doesn’t have a fight right now,” Luque said.
“I’m up to it, November, December, whenever he wants to. I’m up to go there and throw down with him.