Once again Iaquinta Nation it’s Fight Night. The UFC 243 Co-Main Event is one that has fans from Long Island New York to Melbourne Australia excited. “Raging” Al Iaquinta will take on Dan “The Hangman” Hooker in a dynamic lightweight bout. Both fighters have something to prove, looking to do so in front of what will be crowd of almost 60,000 at Marvel Stadium in Melbourne. Dan Hooker will look to build momentum following a knockout win over James Vick, as well as send a big statement in attempting to score a win over Iaquinta. An important matchup for Iaquinta as well as he looks to bounce back following a loss to Donald Cerrone, putting himself back in the Lightweight Title conversation. Continue Reading
Photo Courtesy of MMA Fighting
Although the Middle Weight championship fight between Robert Whittaker and Israel Adesanya has all the makings of a classic, the Co-Main event for UFC 243 has sparked a significant amount of interest of it’s own. “Raging” Al Iaquinta will take on New Zealander Dan “The Hangman” Hooker in front of 60,000 fans at Marvel Stadium in Melbourne Australia. The fight will be LIVE on PPV and ESPN+ this Saturday October 5th at 10PM EST.
Dan Hooker enters the fight with his stock potentially at it’s highest. Although he suffered a TKO loss to Edson Barboza he responded strongly with a knock out win of his own against James Vick. Hooker has shown knock out power but brings a strong submission game to the table as well. His game continues to improve every time he steps in the octagon. Like his opponent Iaquinta both competitors love to fight and always deliver strong performances on fight night. Continue Reading
Photo Courtesy of MMA Fighting
We’re getting closer to UFC 243 and Iaquinta vs. Hooker! UFC always does a great job covering it’s fighters leading up to fight night. Here’s a few must watch videos to hold you over. Watch Al on UFC 243 Countdown shot right in his backyard on Long Island, as well as the UFC Embedded series. Check back here leading up to the fight for any other pre fight videos. As always thank you for reading and watching. Al appreciates all the support.
It’s been an interesting path leading up to Fight week for Al Iaquinta vs. Dan Hooker at UFC 243. Starting with Hooker calling out Iaquinta after a knockout win over James Vick, followed by speculation if the fight would actually happen. Through some confusion Hooker appeared to be under the impression Iaquinta wasn’t actually interested in the fight. Hooker said via Twitter “UFC told me you turned down the fight. Quit acting like you want to fight me, you don’t.” He went on “If I’m lying the fight would be booked already. Put up or shut up.”
The New Yorker Iaquinta is never one to back down from a fight. “I really don’t think he expected me to say okay” Iaquinta told Matt Serra and Jim Norton on the UFC Unfiltered podcast. Meanwhile Iaquinta had verbally told UFC he wanted the fight creating some disconnect between both sides. Iaquinta went on “Lets go, you want it I’m giving you what you want and I’m going to make you pay for it.” Continue Reading
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. Continue Reading
It was tough, it was gritty, it was exactly the performance you expected from Al Iaquinta on Saturday night. Even more impressive considering as late as Friday afternoon Iaquinta had been training to fight a different opponent for a three round fight. Yet there was Iaquinta, in Round Five of a Championship fight still standing toe to toe with the top fighter in the division in Khabib Nurmagomedov. Continue Reading
He’s back! News broke Sunday night that Al Iaquinta will make his return to the octagon. The number 11 ranked lightweight will return to take on Paul Felder at UFC 223. The event will take place April 7th from the Barclay’s Center. The fight was originally scheduled to take place at UFC 218 but Iaquinta was forced to withdraw from the match up. Continue Reading
Back in July the UFC sold for an astronomical 4 billion dollars. Yet despite that, and with the new Reebok sponsorship deal in place, fighters aren’t seeing changes financially. One of those fighters happens to be ranked 13th in the lightweight division. Al Iaquinta has taken a stand, one that may help other martial artists fighting for the promotion put things into perspective. That these athletes putting their bodies on the line through training, and on fight night, are not being properly compensated or represented.
Today, Iaquinta made his decision well known. He would currently remain off the UFC 205 card in a contract dispute. UFC 205 is the first in New York, at the Worlds most Famous Arena Madison Square Garden. A card that just about every New York fighter is scratching and clawing to become a part of. For Iaquinta it’s become much more. It’s become making a long term life decision, and a moral decision. Over fighting in an arena he’s dreamt about fighting in since entering the sport. With the current deal in place if Iaquinta were to lose the fight, it would be “like fighting at MSG for free” He explained. Continue Reading
Tonight I had planned to post a preview to what had the makings to be an incredible fight between Al Iaquinta and Gilbert Melendez. Unfortunately news broke late this afternoon that that exciting light weight bout wasn’t going to happen. Gilbert Melendez has tested positive for testosterone metabolites, present from an outside source. Melendez failed a urine test following his UFC 188 loss to Eddie Alvarez. The light weight has come clean admitting to his use of a banned substance, apologizing to fans and the UFC today. Melendez will be suspended for one year. 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.