Al Iaquinta
Raging
Matching up with Donald Cerrone
LightweightUFC
March 20, 2019
Iaquinta is scheduled to fight Donald Cerrone at UFC Ottawa on May 4, Alexander K. Lee of MMAFighting.com reports.
ANALYSIS
Iaquinta will fight in Canada for the first time in his UFC career fresh off a December victory against Kevin Lee in which Iaquinta won via unanimous decision. The New York native has prevailed in six of his last seven fights but will get a challenge in a resurgent Cerrone who looks right at home in the lightweight division.
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Vaults into title picture with win
LightweightUFC
December 15, 2018
Iaquinta defeated Kevin Lee via unanimous decision (48-47, 48-47, 49-46) at UFC on Fox 31 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on Saturday.
ANALYSIS
Iaquinta looked to control the space early, backing Lee up and unloading shots, while effectively slipping counter attacks. "The Motown Phenom" was able to get Iaquinta's back twice in the fight and work for a choke but Iaquinta was never in any imminent danger and returned to his feet to continue the game plan. It's easy to dismiss Iaquinta due to the fact that he now sells real estate when he's not fighting but it needs to be acknowledged that the 31-year-old has won six of his last seven fights, with the only loss in that stretch coming to champion Khabib Nurmagomedov on short notice. It seems to be gut-check time for Iaquinta, as one would have to believe he will only receive elite-level opponents going forward. He moves to 14-4-1 in professional MMA as a result of the win.
Set to face Kevin Lee in Milwaukee
LightweightUFC
October 10, 2018
Iaquinta (undisclosed) will face Kevin Lee in a lightweight bout at UFC on Fox 31 in Milwaukee on Dec. 15, Ariel Helwani of ESPN reports.
ANALYSIS
Iaquinta hasn't fought since falling to Khabib Nurmagomedov via unanimous decision in a title fight at UFC 223 in April, as an undisclosed injury forced him to withdraw from his scheduled fight against Justin Gaethje this summer. With the veteran fighter apparently back to full health, he'll face Lee in a rematch from 2014, when Iaquinta defeated Lee via unanimous decision at UFC 169. Both fighters have come a long way since their 2014 bout, with Iaquinta winning five of his next seven fights and Lee winning 10 of his next 12 (his two losses came against Leonardo Santos and Tony Ferguson).
Dealing with injury
LightweightUFC
July 2, 2018
Iaquinta said that he withdrew from his upcoming fight against Justin Gaethje in August due to an injury, Aaron Bronsteter of TSN Sports reports.
ANALYSIS
Iaquinta added that he was feeling rushed to get back into shape and his injuries just weren't going away. The 31-year-old previously informed the UFC that he would be dropping out of the fight but didn't disclose the reasoning. In his place, James Vick will be taking on Gaethje.
Dropping out of fight with Justin Gaethje
LightweightUFC
June 27, 2018
Iaquinta is dropping out of his fight with Justin Gaethje due to undisclosed reasons, Ariel Helwani of ESPN reports.
ANALYSIS
Iaquinta and Gaethje were set to square off in the main event on August 25, however Iaquinta has informed the UFC that he will no longer be fighting on that card. The UFC is currently searching for a replacement for Gaethje. It's unsure when Iaquinta will fight next with the circumstances behind his absence unknown at the time.
Contract nearing completion
LightweightUFC
June 11, 2018
Iaquinta told Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour that he has one fight remaining on his UFC contract following his upcoming bout against Justin Gaethje.
ANALYSIS
Iaquinta has been one of the more outspoken fighters with respect to his contract situation, but gained some bargaining power by accepting a fight against Khabib Nurmagomedov on just a day's notice at UFC 223. Though the undefeated Nurmagomedov was a bit too much for him to handle, Iaquinta remains an in-demand fighter that the fans want to see, especially against an opponent as electrifying as Gaethje. Iaquinta acknowledged that he's now been given a small pay raise, and that one fight has been dropped from his much-discussed UFC contract. What he chooses to do after his final two fights is anyone's guess.