Fight week is finally here. This Saturday Al Iaquinta will take on Mitch Clarke at UFC 173, live on Fox Sports 1 from the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. Iaquinta will look to improve his win streak to four in a row against the Brazilian jui-jitsu brown belt. Clarke enters the fight coming off a unanimous decision win against John Maguire. The fight which will kick off the UFC Prelims which will set the tone for what has the makings to be an exciting Memorial Day weekend card. Iaquinta looks to send a message to fight fans as well as all of UFC that he’s the fighter in the light weight division to look out for. Clarke enters the fight looking to build some momentum of his own against a very tough and motivated Iaquinta.
Clarke, who fights out of Alberta Canada has started to make a name for himself as a submission specialist. He currently has six of his ten victory’s by way of submission. Clarke is a well rounded fighter, who like Iaquinta generally likes to keep a good steady pace in all his fights. After getting several professional fights under his belt in Canada, Clarke made his debut in the UFC December of 2011 with a TKO loss to John Chollish. Clarke hasn’t fought since UFC 161 in June of 2013. He’s had a lingering knee injury that’s kept him out of the cage. After almost a year lay off he comes in and faces a difficult challenge in Serra Longo’s Iaquinta.
Fight after fight Iaquinta has shown improvements in his game. Some feel he’s flown under the radar, but Al has very respectfully beat several tough opponents. His three fight win streak include’s victories over Ryan Couture, Piotr Hallman, and UFC new comer Kevin Lee. Although Lee was making his debut he came as advertised and proved to be a challenging opponent. Never the less Iaquinta has taken on every challenger UFC has put in front of him and come out on top each time.
This fight will be an important one for Iaquinta. Important to send a message that the Long Islander is ready to fight a top named opponent on a big stage. Expect a dominating fight from Iaquinta at UFC 173. Not to take anything away from Mitch Clarke who has shown he is a well rounded, talented fighter, but he doesn’t match up well against Al. Watch for Al to dominate Clarke in all aspects of the game and come away from this one with another important victory.