Once again Iaquinta Nation it’s Fight Night. Tonight from Milwaukee Wisconsin and LIVE on FOX it will be “Raging” Al Iaquinta taking on Kevin “The Motown Phenom” Lee in the main event of UFC Fight Night. The history between these two has been discussed in depth throughout the week. That history starts with Iaquinta recording a unanimous decision victory over Lee four years ago. A loss that has remained on the mind of Kevin Lee throughout the years. Neither competitor has been shy in voicing their opinions of one another. Where both have evolved into two of the top lightweights in the division, one important aspect hasn’t changed. These two men have a very legitimate hatred for one another. Where a mutual respect exists from both professionally, personally is a much different story. This bad blood will come to a head once and for all tonight in Milwaukee.
This fight can go many different ways. It will be interesting to see how long Iaquinta and Lee keep the fight standing. Both coming from an experienced wrestling background will play an intriguing roll early on in the match up. Lee will look to battle past the strong takedown defense of Raging Al and take the fight to the ground. Lee often comes out explosive early on. Look for Iaquinta to weather the storm and control the pace of the fight. The longer the fight goes the stronger advantage for the Serra Longo fighter. Kevin Lee will have to remain aggressive standing up but with caution. Iaquinta has demonstrated tremendous knock out power, showing he can end a fight at any moment.
Lee kept to his reputation throughout the week as someone who enjoys to “trash” talk. He made comment of sending Iaquinta “back to the prelims where he belongs.” He continued yesterday. “I’m going to humiliate this man” Lee said. “I’m not the same fighter from four years ago. I look into his eyes I see that same man.” Lee went on “I’ll outshine the man everywhere it goes, I’m better in every aspect.”
Iaquinta did his best to not play too deep into all the talking this week. He kept it short and sweet on stage during the weigh ins Friday night. “He came in cocky last time, I made him humble. [He] Comes in cockier this time…… twice as humble.” Iaquinta has done some fine tuning himself as the years have gone on, the original matchup between the two is still in the back of his mind.
“I’ll never forget the look on his face after that fight” Iaquinta discussed after the weigh ins Friday. “He felt something in there he never felt before. He’s going to feel that same thing this time that he hasn’t felt since that loss.” Iaquinta went on “I’m going to go in there, have fun, let it flow, and get my hand raised. He knows he’s going to have to kill me [to win this fight].”
“His fight IQ is much higher since the first fight” trainer Matt Serra said. “He’s still a beast, just a smarter beast.” Serra continued “I’ve seen what he’s [Iaquinta] done with not much of a training camp and dealing with injuries. With a full camp, he’s going to bring Hell Saturday night.”
Now all the talking is over. Any talking that’s left to be done will take place in that octagon tonight. If you look into the eyes of Iaquinta you can notice something just a bit different for this match up. Kevin Lee says he sees the same man. Personally I see someone focused, intense, and locked in. A fighter looking to make a statement and send a message. That message is simple. “I’m the man, I’m the guy” Iaquinta has said. Tonight expect Iaquinta to quiet down any critics or naysayers. With a strong performance over Kevin Lee tonight Iaquinta will show that he’s the fighter in the lightweight division that everyone needs to watch out for. Hold on to your seats Iaquinta Nation, it’s Fight Night. Time to go to war.