If you thought this Sunday’s grappling match between Al Iaquinta and Mike Perry was going to be a friendly exhibition of sorts, than you are sorely mistaken. The match will take place at Chael Sonnen’s Submission Underground 11 at The Rosalind Theater in Portland Oregon. The event will stream live on UFC Fight Pass.
Both Perry and “Raging” Al appeared on Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show Monday afternoon. While Mike Perry seemed unsure about a lot of the aspects of the bout including weight requirements, attire, and even the specific rules, his opponent in Iaquinta is set to make a statement in Oregon this Sunday.
“I’ve been putting a lot of work in since my last fight” Iaquinta told Ariel Helwani. “The guy is in a lot of trouble. I’ve been wrestling my entire life, I’m training with the top guys in the world every day.” Iaquinta commented on wrestling guys like Perry over the years. “You just have to weather the storm. He has no idea what he got himself into. I’m taking this very seriously.”
Perry who fights at Welterweight will be the bigger of the two. Iaquinta will look to wear Perry down and gas him out during the five minute period. If there’s no winner after five minutes all fights will go to an overtime until a winner is declared. Iaquinta went on “He’s worried about his girlfriend or wife whatever she is (Perry’s wife will also fight at Submission Underground) he should be worried about me.”
What perhaps stole the attention Monday afternoon was Iaquinta’s comments on Dustin Poirier. Poirier has been lobbying for a fight with Nate Diaz that appears to now be a dead end. Poirier last fought against Khabib Nurmagomedov back in September for the undisputed UFC Lightweight title getting submitted in the third round.
“He thinks his stock is a lot higher than it is.” Iaquinta told Ariel Helwani. “He would’ve gotten choked unconscious but he tapped before the deed could be done” Iaquinta said. “I think that’s the fight that needs to be made.” On a days notice Iaquinta is the only fighter to go the distance with the undefeated Nurmagomedov. With a bit of a log jam at the top of the competitive Lightweight division a fight between Poirier ranked #2 and Iaquinta #9 makes sense.
“He doesn’t have a fight coming up, that’s the fight,” Iaquinta said. “The UFC just has to call him. I called Hunter [Campbell], I texted Sean Shelby and said that’s the fight. I don’t know, maybe they didn’t offer it to him. But if they did, he turned it down. So either way, the offer is extended now. And that’s it, I think it’s a good fight.
Dustin Poirier took to Twitter in response later Monday which sparked a back and fourth between the two. “Bro you won two fights in 5 years, pipe down” Poirier tweeted to Iaquinta. To which Iaquinta quickly responded “Do something about it.” The exchange went on with both fighters going back and forth commenting on Dustin “giving up” against Khabib when he tapped during the September fight.
With a lot up in the air and several particulars to be worked out the potential fight is only a possibility for now. Yet the comments between the two yesterday has lit a fire around the potential match up. In the interim it’s Iaquinta and Perry this Sunday at Submission Underground in what could be a nice tune up leading into Iaquinta taking on Poirier later this year.