Al Iaquinta is probably the biggest surprise of the UFC in the last few months. After Conor McGregor hurt many athletes in a hooligan bus attack, UFC 223 was endangered due to Ray Borg and Michael Chiesa medical prohibition. Khabib Nurmagomedov had no decent opponent for the main event after Tony Ferguson had to withdraw, and Al Iaquinta appeared as a complete underdog with the heart of a lion.
Looks like the Lightweight division is getting stronger every day. Even when you lose, your popularity goes up… and when it comes to Al Iaquinta, fighting with such style against an undefeated fighter couldn’t come unnoticed! He has said on his podcast that he was asked by UFC for a possible matchup with Justin Gaethje this summer, and according to his response, he is not surprised at all. (via MMAMania.com)
“We’re hoping for sometime in August,” Iaquinta said. “August, September. I think (the UFC) wanted it to be sooner, but that guy needs a rest. I was looking out for his health with that one. He needs a break for a minute. If it goes down the way it’s supposed to, it’ll be a good fight, a tough fight.”
It looks like Al Iaquinta is worried about Gaethje’s health and he believes his opponent should rest a little bit, but UFC wants that fight as soon as possible. Al said that the fight was discussed “a little bit”.
There is a possibility this would be an amazing opportunity for Justin Gaethje to demonstrate his skills. Al Iaquinta was on a five-win streak before Khabib Nurmagomedov defeated him via unanimous decision. Gaethje has two losses in his previous two fights – to Dustin Poirier and Eddie Alvarez. He needs someone to push him, to motivate him, to give him a chance for a big return.
Al Iaquinta is having a similar problem – looks like he cannot think of a title for a very long period of time but you mustn’t ignore the fact that he was hunting Khabib Nurmagomedov for five rounds. His pressure was good, and he was defeated honorably. Both fighters want to risk and open up as soon as the fight starts. So, if this happens, prepare for a brutal showdown without many tactics. Both Iaquinta and Poirier would want to throw everything they have!
It looks like that bad fight at Lightweight division is almost impossible to happen. Edson Barboza’s manager has also thrown an eye on Gaethje. Which fight would you like more, a superb tactic striker versus all heart of this world or a possible street fight until the last bell?