Although last night the focus was in Brooklyn for UFC 208, there was breaking news announced during the card for one of New York’s fan favorites. Serra Longo’s Al Iaquinta will make his return to the octagon at UFC Fight Night Swanson vs. Lobov. The fight will take place April 22nd Live from the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville Tennessee. Iaquinta will take on veteran and Ultimate Fighter Season 1 alumni Diego “The Nightmare” Sanchez.
On Monday, Al Iaquinta under went successful knee surgery to repair the damaged cartilage in his knee. After a stem cell and plasma injection didn’t prove to be as effective as hoped for, doctors as well as Iaquinta thought this would be the best course of action. With rehab starting next week Iaquinta will look to make his return mid summer.
Looking back to April all of this seemed to be an after thought. Although the knee issue lingered Iaquinta was on a tear through the light weight division. Raging Al recorded knock out victories over Rodrigo Damm, Ross Pearson, and Joe Lauzon respectfully, as well as a split decision victory over Jorge Masvidal. Al looked to make it five in a row against veteran light weight Gilbert Melendez. Once Melendez tested positive for testosterone metabolites, Iaquinta opted to take care of the injury and get back to 100%.
“I’m feeling good man” Iaquinta commented last night. “They said everything wen’t well, I’ll start physical therapy next week.” A return for Iaquinta can’t come soon enough. He went on to say, “I’m just relieved it’s done with. One step closer to getting back in there.”
Iaquinta has gained a reputation for not only being quite the competitor, but even more respected for his work ethic. It’s that same work ethic that will get him back in the octagon in no time. Expect an even stronger Iaquinta to come back in 2016 and continue to make a statement in the light weight division. Continue to check here for updates, interviews, and much more.
Here’s a few videos and articles to catch up on leading up to Saturday’s Co Main Event between Al Iaquinta and Jorge Masvidal. Yesterday open workouts we’re held to give fans and media a closer look into the fighters training regiments as well as thought’s on their opponents. Before fight night you can also read up on UFC’s opinion on Raging Al and his upcoming fight.
Weigh In’s will take place today Friday April 3rd at 12 noon. Be sure to check out www.mmajunkie.com for a live feed of the official weigh in’s. Remember McCann’s Pub and Grill (5590 Merrick Road Massapeqa NY) is your number one spot to watch all the fights Saturday afternoon.
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.