A second knee surgery and long recovery almost had one of UFC’s rising stars, and top lightweight contenders considering retirement this passed year. Now six months later Al Iaquinta gets ready to square off against veteran Diego Sanchez. Quite the turn of events, yet one that leaves fight fans as well as Iaquinta very excited. Continue Reading
A lot can change in 24 hours. Yesterday it was announced that Al Iaquinta’s opponent Bobby Green would be forced to pull out of the July 15th fight in San Diego. Just a day later Iaquinta has a new opponent in Gilbert Melendez. Melendez will step back into the octagon after a quick turn around, coming off a loss to Eddie Alvarez this past weekend.
Fight fans were looking forward to the match up between Green and Iaquinta after several words had been exchanged between both fighters. For now that will have to be put on hold as Iaquinta will refocus for Gilbert Melendez. Another solid match up for the Serra Longo based fighter. The gritty Melendez is currently ranked 5th in the lightweight division where Iaquinta is respectfully ranked 13th. A win here would undoubtedly move Iaquinta into the top 10 in the division.
Iaquinta is riding a four fight win streak most recently defeating Jorge Masvidal via split decision. Leading up to that fight Iaquinta scored knock out wins over Rodrigo Damm, Ross Pearson and Joe Lauzon. Melendez only has a handful of fights in the UFC but has recorded victories over Diego Sanchez, Josh Thomson, Clay Guida, and Iaquinta’s last opponent Jorge Masvidal in Strikeforce where most of his bouts took place. Interestedly enough he’s fought and lost to both former UFC Lightweight champions Benson Henderson and Anthony Pettis.
UFC Fight Night 71 will take place on July 15th Live from the Valley View Casino Center in San Diego. Iaquinta and Melendez will be the Co Main Event which will be headlined by Frank Mir vs. Todd Duffee.
The Mixed Martial Arts world is filled with competitors who like Al Iaquinta are hard working and humble. Fighters who do their talking once they step in the octagon. Who walk into a place and want to fly under the radar, go about their business, and aren’t looking for attention. Then there’s Jorge Masvidal. A fighter who has shown over the past few weeks that he likes to talk, and not very intelligently.
This Saturday Iaquinta(11-3-1) will take on Masvidal(28-8) in the Co Main event at UFC Fight Night 63 in a rare Saturday day event. The fight which is headlined by Chad Mendes and Ricardo Lamas will take place in Fairfax Virginia at The Patriot Center. Iaquinta fills in for former lightweight champion Benson Henderson who recently bumped up to welterweight. Continue Reading
For those of you wondering when Al Iaquinta would get another fight, wait no longer. Iaquinta will step back into the octagon on November 8th. His opponent? The hard hitting Ross Pearson. The fight will take place at the Allphone Arena in Australia. The entire fight card will stream LIVE on UFC Fight Pass.
Iaquinta and Pearson will be the co main event along side Luke Rockhold and Micheal Bisping. Pearson who appeared on TUF back in 2009, most recently comes off a second round KO of Gray Maynard. He’s unbeaten in four of his last five fights. Iaquinta enters the contest 4-1 in his last 5, most recently knocking out Rodrigo Damm at UFC Fight Night last month. A great match up for Iaquinta against a top ranked opponent. As always be sure to check in here for photos, interviews, shirts, and much more.