Iaquinta Nation has waited a long time, seven hundred and forty nine days to be exact but once again it’s Fight Night. “Raging” Al Iaquinta will take on Diego “Lionheart” Sanchez in the Co Main event at UFC Fight Night 108. For Iaquinta a long awaited return now two years since beating Jorge Masvidal. Continue Reading
A second knee surgery and long recovery almost had one of UFC’s rising stars, and top lightweight contenders considering retirement this passed year. Now six months later Al Iaquinta gets ready to square off against veteran Diego Sanchez. Quite the turn of events, yet one that leaves fight fans as well as Iaquinta very excited. Continue Reading
Seven hundred and forty nine days. Thats how long it’s been since Al Iaquinta last stepped inside a cage. In the interim a surgery, physical therapy and recovery, a successful journey into the real estate business, a contract dispute, and eventually “clearing the air” if you will with new UFC management. All roads lead us right here, right to Diego Sanchez. The two will square off this Saturday April 22nd in the Co-Main Event at UFC Fight Night 108. Continue Reading
Although last night the focus was in Brooklyn for UFC 208, there was breaking news announced during the card for one of New York’s fan favorites. Serra Longo’s Al Iaquinta will make his return to the octagon at UFC Fight Night Swanson vs. Lobov. The fight will take place April 22nd Live from the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville Tennessee. Iaquinta will take on veteran and Ultimate Fighter Season 1 alumni Diego “The Nightmare” Sanchez.
To see one of UFC’s top Lightweight contenders, in the prime of his career on the side line for almost two years is an absolute shame. It’s also something new UFC matchmaker Sean Shelby will look to correct. Shelby went to Twitter last night posting a picture with Iaquinta along side coaches Matt Serra and Ray Longo. “Look for Al Iaquinta soon in an octagon near you.” Continue Reading
Back in July the UFC sold for an astronomical 4 billion dollars. Yet despite that, and with the new Reebok sponsorship deal in place, fighters aren’t seeing changes financially. One of those fighters happens to be ranked 13th in the lightweight division. Al Iaquinta has taken a stand, one that may help other martial artists fighting for the promotion put things into perspective. That these athletes putting their bodies on the line through training, and on fight night, are not being properly compensated or represented.
Today, Iaquinta made his decision well known. He would currently remain off the UFC 205 card in a contract dispute. UFC 205 is the first in New York, at the Worlds most Famous Arena Madison Square Garden. A card that just about every New York fighter is scratching and clawing to become a part of. For Iaquinta it’s become much more. It’s become making a long term life decision, and a moral decision. Over fighting in an arena he’s dreamt about fighting in since entering the sport. With the current deal in place if Iaquinta were to lose the fight, it would be “like fighting at MSG for free” He explained. Continue Reading
On Monday, Al Iaquinta under went successful knee surgery to repair the damaged cartilage in his knee. After a stem cell and plasma injection didn’t prove to be as effective as hoped for, doctors as well as Iaquinta thought this would be the best course of action. With rehab starting next week Iaquinta will look to make his return mid summer.
Looking back to April all of this seemed to be an after thought. Although the knee issue lingered Iaquinta was on a tear through the light weight division. Raging Al recorded knock out victories over Rodrigo Damm, Ross Pearson, and Joe Lauzon respectfully, as well as a split decision victory over Jorge Masvidal. Al looked to make it five in a row against veteran light weight Gilbert Melendez. Once Melendez tested positive for testosterone metabolites, Iaquinta opted to take care of the injury and get back to 100%.
“I’m feeling good man” Iaquinta commented last night. “They said everything wen’t well, I’ll start physical therapy next week.” A return for Iaquinta can’t come soon enough. He went on to say, “I’m just relieved it’s done with. One step closer to getting back in there.”
Iaquinta has gained a reputation for not only being quite the competitor, but even more respected for his work ethic. It’s that same work ethic that will get him back in the octagon in no time. Expect an even stronger Iaquinta to come back in 2016 and continue to make a statement in the light weight division. Continue to check here for updates, interviews, and much more.