UFC 243 | Al Iaquinta believes Dan Hooker fight could be ‘a 15-minute beatdown’

Al Iaquinta
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Al Iaquinta is looking to return to the win column at UFC 243 when he takes on Dan Hooker.

The Long Island-native will be heading to Australia to take on the Kiwi in Hooker. It will no doubt be a very entertaining fight, yet Iaquinta believes he will get his hand raised and dominate the fight for the full 15 minutes. That, or score an early finish.

“I think he’s a very tough opponent. He’s the kind of guy that you got to put out. He doesn’t go out easily. So the goal is to put him out early,” Iaquinta said on BJPENN.com Radio recently. “The goal is to finish the fight quick and easy. And I think that’s definitely a possibility. I have a lot of things that I’ve been working on that I think I could land early in the fight, but if not, I know he’s tough and I know it’ll be a 15 minute beat down. I’m in great shape, and I’ll be more than content to beat on him for the entire 15 minutes.”

Iaquinta believes his wrestling could be a factor in this fight, though he knows Hooker’s jiu jitsu is something to be wary of.

“Yeah, I don’t think they really wrestle in New Zealand too much, so if the opportunity presents itself for me to get a takedown, I think that that’s always a possibility,” he said. “He’s got some good submissions and stuff that I’ve been working on in the gym to just stay away from his strengths in that aspect. I’ve been training with guys that are so good and so technical, so strong, so tough, that anything he throws at me — he’s got a few things that are very dangerous — but I think anything he throws at me will be something I’ve seen before.”

Even though Iaquinta is flying across the world for this fight at UFC 243, he thinks the crowd could very well be behind him. He knows there’s a rivalry between Australia and New Zealand, and he likes to believe his style will lead to the Australians to cheer for him.

“I think it’ll be interesting to see how the crowd reacts to us both,” he explained. “And I’m really looking forward to fighting in front of that many people. 

“I love the people and the culture in Australia. I think they work really hard and they play really hard. And that’s something I think I do myself. So I mean, I’m pretty Australian for an American. You know what I mean?”

Who do you think will win the fight between Al Iaquinta vs. Dan Hooker?

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This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 10/02/2019.