Al Iaquinta has put together a three-fight win streak inside the Octagon, earning decisions over Kevin Lee, Piotr Hallmann and Ryan Couture.
Tonight, the former Ultimate Fighter runner-up seeks his fourth UFC victory when he meets Mitch Clarke on the prelim card of UFC 173. The bout kicks off the FOX Sports 1 action at 8 p.m. ET.
Recently, Iaquinta (8-2-1) talked with FightLine about his fight this evening against Clarke (10-2), who improved to 1-2 with the UFC last June by besting John Maguire.
“He is definitely improving as a fighter,” Iaquinta said. “Every fight, he looks to be better. He is now training with a good camp and he is making gains. He is also a big lightweight.”
Iaquinta believes in his mind that the fight could go one of two ways: a perfect victory for himself, or a rugged war that also results in his hand being raised.
“In my mind, I have imagined the fight going flawless and me coming away unscathed with an easy win,” he said. “I have also visualized the worst possible scenario: hurt and beat up, coming from behind to get the win.
“I will be ready for whatever comes and I will get the win.”
Iaquinta trains with Ray Longo and former UFC welterweight champion Matt Serra, along with the likes of current middleweight titleholder Chris Weidman and Aljamain Sterling. The 27-year-old New York native won all 14 of his amateur fights before turning pro in 2009 and signing with Ring of Combat.
While he was on The Ultimate Fighter, Iaquinta defeated Jon Tuck, Andy Ogle, Vinc Pichel and Myles Jury. The victory over Jury was the last loss – official or exhibition – that Jury has suffered.
FightLine will have complete coverage of UFC 173, including live play-by-play, immediate post-fight recaps and all your breaking news from the evening.
Front-Page Photo Credit: Joe Camporeale