Last night, in the main event of the UFC’s final broadcast on FOX, Al Iaquinta and Kevin Lee stepped into the cage for a second time. Just as he did in their first encounter, Iaquinta was able to out-perform Lee, earning a unanimous decision win and a scoring a significant upset.
With this win, Iaquinta rebounds from a decision loss to reigning UFC lightweight champ Khabib Nurmagomedov — a fight he accepted on only a day’s notice. Perhaps more importantly, this win over the fourth-ranked Kevin Lee establishes Iaquinta as one of the foremost contenders in the UFC lightweight division.
While Al Iaquinta is now one of the top dogs in the crowded UFC lightweight division, he’ll likely have to take another fight or two before a prospective rematch with Nurmagomedov. And as it turns out, he’s got a matchup in mind to that end.
Post-fight, the New Yorker called for a matchup with former interim champion Tony Ferguson.
“I think Ferguson’s the guy,” Iaquinta told reporters backstage after his victory (via MMAjunkie). “I think I’m a perfect style matchup to beat him. If there’s any holdup, that’s the guy I want to fight.”
Although Ferguson is one of the very best fighters in the lightweight division, Al Iaquinta is confident he can defeat him and even finish him.
“He’s gets hurt in his fights,” Iaquinta said. “I think I’m a better finisher than the guys he’s fought. I think I’m getting the job done against Ferguson.”
While Al Iaquinta has his heart set on a fight Tony Ferguson, UFC President Dana White has repeatedly stated that Ferguson is likely the next man in line for Nurmagomedov.
“As a fight fan, you’ve got to go with Tony,” White said. “Tony had the belt, tweaked his knee, got stripped, this fight happens — Tony never lost the [interim] belt in a fight. Neither did Conor, but Conor got the opportunity to actually fight [Nurmagomedov]. I think Tony deserves the next shot.”
Does a fight between Al Iaquinta and Tony Ferguson interest you?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 12/16/2018.