Following his knock out win over James Vick, Dan Hooker let it be known he was looking for a top tier opponent in the lightweight division. “I feel like Al Iaquinta’s the one that makes sense. That name definitely stands out to me.” Through some confusion Hooker appeared to be under the impression Iaquinta wasn’t actually interested in the fight. Hooker said via Twitter “UFC told me you turned down the fight. Quit acting like you want to fight me, you don’t.” He went on “If I’m lying the fight would be booked already. Put up or shut up.” Well, ask and you shall receive. News broke late Sunday night that both fighters had verbally agreed to the bout scheduled for October 5th in Melbourne Australia. Continue Reading
Once again Iaquinta Nation it’s fight night, and an exciting one at that. In tonight’s UFC Fight Night main event it will be “Raging” Al Iaquinta taking on Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone. Where both have expressed a mutual respect for one another it will be all business when the cage doors lock. Both fighters know just how important this bout is in regards to another shot at lightweight gold.
It’s two very intriguing paths that Iaquinta and Cerrone are currently on. Cerrone the well known gritty veteran. A competitor that all fight fans know, respect, and enjoy watching. The UFC’s all time win leader holding victories over some of Mixed Martial Art’s best. He’s fought on short notice, in two different weight classes, won several post fight bonuses, and fought for a title multiple times. Yet the knock on Cowboy has always been his inability to come through in the “big fight”. With all that in the past, THIS is now that next big fight. If Cowboy wants another opportunity to fight for a title it starts with the tough New Yorker Iaquinta. Continue Reading
With both Lightweights weighed in tomorrow nights main event is officially set. Ottawa, Ontario is fixed to see a great one as #4 ranked Al Iaquinta will take on #8 Donald Cerrone in a main event with a potential championship opportunity in the balance. With champion Khabib Nurmagomedov suspended, Dustin Poirier holding an interim title, and other top ranked competitors Tony Ferguson and Connor McGregor’s futures both in question, a lot of eyes will be on tomorrow nights match up with Iaquinta and Cerrone as potential suitors for another title shot. With that being said Iaquinta nor Cowboy are ones to look past the opponent in front of them in what has the makings to be a classic. Continue Reading
This week “Raging” Al Iaquinta travels across the border to Canada in preparation for a showdown with Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone. The fight will take place this Saturday May 4th from the Canadian Tire Centre in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. The bout will be the five round main event on the card, airing live on ESPN+.
Iaquinta (14-4-1 MMA, 9-3 UFC) looks to carry the momentum from his impressive December victory over Kevin Lee into this fight. This will be Iaquinta’s third main event in a row against an opponent in Cowboy who always comes to fight and is never to be taken lightly. Donald Cerrone (35-11 MMA, 22-8 UFC) most recently returned to lightweight for the first time since 2015 recording at TKO win over Alexander Hernandez. Continue Reading
Yesterday on Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show Al Iaquinta said he had been assured by UFC his next fight would be a “big one”. Twenty four hours later it would appear that to be true. News broke Tuesday afternoon that Iaquinta (14-4-1 MMA, 9-3 UFC) had agreed to fight Donald Cerrone (35-11 MMA, 22-8 UFC). The fight will take place May 4th at the Canadian Tire Centre in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. The fight will be live on ESPN +. Both sides have verbally agreed to what would be the main event on the card.
“Raging” Al Iaquinta comes off a strong five round unanimous decision win over Kevin Lee, which moved him further up the lightweight rankings. Most recently, Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone returned to lightweight for the first time since 2015 recording at TKO win over Alexander Hernandez.
It’s no secret the lightweight division has several question marks centered around the suspensions of Champion Khabib Nurmagomedov as well as former champion Connor McGregor. Both Iaquinta and Cerrone had lobbied for a matchup with Connor McGregor. Yet with a potential fight between McGregor and Cerrone, as well as a fight between Iaquinta and Tony Ferguson both falling apart it would leave the “Brooklyn Gangster” Iaquinta to take on “Cowboy” Cerrone.
The fight has the makings to be an exciting one. Cowboy currently ranked #9 recently said he wanted someone in the top 5 of the division. He gets just that in Iaquinta currently ranked #4. For Iaquinta an opportunity to record a win over a big name and veteran in the sport as both fighters look to continue to climb the ranks, working towards UFC gold.
When the rankings came out on Tuesday The UFC lightweight division would see a few changes. Iaquinta moves to 4th, breaking into the Top 5 for the first time in his career. Raging Al recorded a unanimous decision win over Kevin Lee Saturday night, now winning six of his last seven. The win would jump Iaquinta in the rankings from 8th to 4th. Outside of the move in the rankings the hard fought win over Lee continued to open up eyes in the mixed martial arts world. The misconception of real estate agent/part time fighter has faded away. Not only has the narrative changed but it’s Iaquinta who’s in the conversation to potentially challenge for the lightweight belt once again. Continue Reading
At the end of Round 5 an intense Iaquinta was right in the face of Kevin Lee and only had one thing to say. “Same Al, Same Al.” Iaquinta was referring to Lee’s comments earlier in the week. “I’m not the same man from four years ago, I look into his eyes I see the same man.” That’s just fine by Iaquinta who went the distance with Lee scoring a unanimous decision Saturday night. Iaquinta stood tall while a broken down Kevin Lee was left close to speechless in the octagon. “Devastating, embarrassed, I couldn’t feel lower than I do right now” Lee said. It was a rematch that didn’t disappoint on FOX’s final UFC. “That was sick” Iaquinta said. “That was a lot of fun.”
Iaquinta controlled much of the first round, landing solid shots throughout the round including an impressive spinning back fist early on. Although Lee landed shots of his own, it was Iaquinta who impressed in the early going. In round 2 Kevin Lee showcased his strength taking Iaquinta down and taking his back. Iaquinta would take shots from Lee from that position, but eventually would work his way back up. Once back on their feet Iaquinta was able to land some other tough shots on Lee with his jab, potentially securing that round for the New Yorker.
Iaquinta continued to push the pace in the 3rd round. Lee seemed to constantly have his back against thecage. The strong grappler Lee would eventually be able to take Iaquinta down once again. Raging Al fought off his back shutting down any rear naked choke attempts from Kevin Lee. In round 4 Iaquinta began to really turn it on. “I know Kevin Lee will never beat me in the 4th and 5th round” Iaquinta said following the fight. He continued to dominate the standup battle. Iaquinta impressed with crisp shots and constant head movement throughout the final round. He stalked Lee throughout the cage landing shots what seemed like at will. Iaquinta blasted Lee with punches at the end of the 5th cementing what was not only a dominant round, but an all around dominant fight for Iaquinta.
Iaquinta was asked back stage his thoughts on Kevin Lee dancing and singing prior to entering the cage. “Look at me” Iaquinta said. “This is how it’s done, I do this thing right.” Perhaps that served as motivation for the Serra Longo based fighter as he put on what could be one of the best performances of his career. “You can prepare, you can train, but there’s something you can’t put in somebody. It’s this.” Iaquinta said as he pounded his chest and pointed to his heart. “You can give me millions of dollars but you’re not getting me out of there. You’re going to have to kill me.”
Iaquinta would continue speaking with reporters back stage. “He’s too slow, he’s plotting. He’s strong, but he’s never going to beat me.” When asked if he thought Kevin Lee did in fact look “slower” in there “Of course Kevin Lee looked slower. Khabib, Masvidal, there’s a reason all these guys looked slower, or weren’t at their best. They feel something in there with me. They know I’m not going anywhere.” Yes indeed. With a dominant five round win Iaquinta will undoubtably continue to climb the Lightweight ranks. Who he’ll fight next will remain to be seen yet one thing is for sure. Al Iaquinta is the fighter UFC lightweights need to watch out for.