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.