After taking a closer look into Al Iaquinta and Myles Jury you’ll learn they actually have a few things in common. Both come from a strong wrestling background. Al and Myles have ended many of their fights in the first round by way of knock out or submission. Yet the the thing they have strongest in common is probably what serves as the biggest motivation for both fighters. Both Al and Myles were supposed to be on previous seasons of The Ultimate Fighter. Al broke his hand before he could be on Season 12, while Jury was on Season 13 before a torn ACL forced him off the show. With that missed opportunity looming, both fighters have something to prove. Yet with all those similarities only one of them will have their hand raised Friday night and I have a feeling it’s going to be Al Iaquinta.
Team Faber is in desperate need of a win after going down 0-2. Cruz has selected a matchup in Iaquinta and Jury that he feels has the best chance to put his team up 3-0, going right for the “jugular” as he explained earlier this week. This time he may have made a mistake in choosing Faber’s number one pick Iaquinta. Iaquinta told UltimateFighter.com that “Just because I’m on a team and they dropped two fights doesn’t effect me in any way.” Cruz feels good about the match up and knows Jury very well. The two have trained together in San Diego. Regardless of Cruz’s confidence in Jury I think Cruz as well as the rest of the world is going to learn a few things about just how tough Al Iaquinta is on Friday Night.
It’s going to be very intriguing to see in what direction the fight takes. With both fighters having a wrestling background it will be interesting to see if the fight will become a stand up battle. If Jury tries to wrestle with Iaquinta he’ll have a much more difficult time then he did in his fight with Akbarh Arreola to get into the house. Arreola who had trained with Jury in San Diego, had no answer for Jury’s takedowns. There’s no doubt that Iaquinta will have a much stronger take down defense then Arreola did.
I can’t speak for Myles Jury though I’m sure he’s extremely motivated after receiving this second chance to be on the show. Knowing Al pretty well I can speak a thing or two about him. Al’s game is very well rounded, and he is extremely focused. Regardless of the opponent, if he sticks to his game he can pick anyone apart. He recently told Newsday.com that “It can be tough with the cameras around”, but he’s just trying to “stay focused, eat, sleep, and train.” He went on to say “I’m not trying to put on an act, I’m just being me. I think the viewers will like that.” The whole world is going to learn this and much more about Al Iaquinta this week, but there’s two things their guaranteed to find out. Al is willing to do anything to win and be successful in this business, and he’s ready to go to war.