Urijah Faber needed someone to play the part of stopper last night after finding his team down 0-2 to Team Cruz. He had the perfect guy to play that part in Al Iaquinta who never disappoints. Iaquinta came as advertised and although he may have started out slow in the first round, he turned it on and picked up the pace in the second and third sudden victory round. Al scored a big win, first and foremost for himself, as well as Team Faber. Congratulations to Al who’s hard work advances him to the quarter finals. Here’s how it all went down.
Iaquinta was focused and confident in the days leading up to the fight. He reiterated as he told the twitter world that he was “Ready to go. Myles is a good fighter, but I’ve been in wars before. I got my ass kicked and got a win, I don’t think he’s ever been in a war.” Al touched on his injury that took him out of Season 12, and how it was a blessing in disguise. He went on to discuss how he progressed and grew since then, and had some of his toughest fights after the injury.
In leading up to Al’s training session with Coach Faber he cornered him to talk about a brief game plan for the fight. The guys in the locker room talked about working on defense but Al expressed that he wanted to work more on offense, and push the pace of the fight. He went on to talk about his feelings of Cruz and Jury picking him to fight saying “ Them calling me out is a bold statement. This is a fight that could have happened in the finals.” He concluded saying “I’ve worked to hard. My work ethic is why I’m here, and why I’m going to win the fight.”
Faber had a few things to say about his number one pick as well. He praised the hard work of Iaquinta. He described him as aggressive, athletic, and talented. “He has a strong mentality, and he’s going to push the pace of the fight. I think we have a real star on our hands.”
The fight was an exciting one. A few nice exchanges throughout the beginning of the first round. Al hit Jury with a few good shots, and Jury showed some impressive kicks. Al managed to shake off any take down attempts from the strong wrestler Jury. An interesting moment near the end of the first when Al hit an awkward move most wrestlers know called the spladel, leaving him in position to attempt a leg lock. Jury countered the move with a reversal and briefly took Al’s back keeping the first round close.
Al looked like he really started to turn it on in the second round. He seemed much more aggressive, showing an array of great combinations and some big right hands throughout the round. Myles was on the defense for most of the round and seemed to loose some steam as the second round went on. Yet he was still able to hit Iaquinta with a big knee, and even take Al down near the end of the round. With Jury in his guard he was able to remain aggressive with elbows from the bottom, and cut Jury to end the round.
If your heart hadn’t had enough the fight was a draw after two and went to a sudden victory round. While Jury hung his arms and head on the cage in his corner, Iaquinta paced back and fourth strong and determined to get back in there for a third round. Al came out and looked stronger in the third round then he did in the first. He hit Jury with some big combos in the first minute and controlled the entire third round. Al looked very comfortable and Jury never landed a big shot. The fight went to a judges decision which scored Iaquinta the winner by split decision.
A great win for Serra Longo’s Iaquinta who has all of Long Island and Iaquinta Nation in that cage with him every fight. Everyone can relax for a month or so until we do this again. As for Al he’s going to continue to work hard, progress and get stronger. The journey continues and Iaquinta rolls on.