It was a rough week headed into UFC 223, particularly Khabib Nurmagomedov, who went through three opponent changes, finally hooked with “Ragin’ Al” who was called in for the biggest fight of his career on a day notice.
Expectedly Khabib Nurmagomedov picked up a dominant unanimous decision win over Al Iaquinta along with the undisputed UFC lightweight title on (Sat., April 7, 2018) at UFC 223 pay-per-view (PPV) event in Brooklyn. Iaquinta Showed the MMA world he wasn’t going in there on short notice just to get a participation trophy.
Iaquinta said he is ready to take on a rematch with Khabib and this time results will be different:(Quote via BloodyElbow)
“I think so,” Iaquinta told TMZ Sports when asked if he thought he would beat Khabib in a possible part two. “(At UFC 223), I was fighting in the mindset of trying to go in there just like I (would).”
“A lot of people thought I just had a one-shot chance, and after the first two rounds I kind of went back into that mindset where I was just trying to catch him with one punch, rather than beat him.”
Al Iaquinta is confident on his skillsets and believes the results would have been quite the opposite if I was able to train fully for undefeated Dagestani.
“My wrestling’s good,” Iaquinta said. “I got in on a deep single-leg, and I almost think I should’ve tried to finish it. But I pulled out and started punching because I wanted to get that knockout shot.”
“(If) I’m in shape for five rounds, and I am able to really let it go and exert myself with the wrestling exchanges and scrambles, I think it (will be) a totally different fight.”
Iaquinta’s five-fight win streak snapped after the defeat. He last competed against fellow TUF alum Diego Sanchez where he knocked him out in the first round in Nashville a year ago. Indeed, Al earned some newfound respect not only from fans, his peers but from the organization as a whole.