Al Iaquinta reveals ideal next opponent and timeframe for return

Al Iaquinta
Image: Dave Mandel / Sherdog.com

Top-ranked lightweight, Al Iaquinta has given a timeframe and ideal opponent for his next UFC appearance.

Despite being in lockdown over the coronavirus pandemic, the New-York native is keeping busy. He is ready to get back to business and is even willing to fight on Dana White’s proposed Fight Island.

Iaquinta’s last fight was at UFC 243 in 2019 against the rising contender, Dan Hooker. He suffered a disappointing unanimous decision loss.

Another fighter who suffered a frustrating loss at the hands of Hooker was Paul Felder. He lost the razor-close bout by split decision at UFC Auckland earlier this year. In an emotional statement, Felder suggested he was ready to hang up his gloves. However, ready to bring him back from the brink of retirement is Al Iaquinta.

The title challenger said he is waiting on the “Irish Dragon” to confirm a date.

“Before all this crazy coronavirus stuff, it was looking like it was going to be Paul Felder. It was really just when it was convenient for him, he just fought more recently than I did. It was going to be whenever he was ready to go.”

Currently, fight cards and dates have been reshuffled following COVID-19 restrictions. UFC 249 is now expected to take place next month in Florida. Iaquinta is ready to make an appearance if he finds a dance partner who’s ready for the deadline.

Al Iaquinta
Image: @ufc on Instagram

It wouldn’t be the first time “Raging” Al has fought at the last minute. He was initially scheduled to fight Paul Felder at UFC 223. Instead, he stepped up on just a few weeks notice to fight Khabib Nurmagomedov, after two challengers pulled out. He lost the title shot but nevertheless proved to be a worthy adversary against the undefeated champ.

Given the current circumstances, a matchup against Felder would likely take place later on in the year.

“I don’t know if that’s still the case,” said Iaquinta regarding Felder’s availability. “I probably want to fight at the beginning of May. I don’t know if that’s possible, but I’m really just winging this whole thing right now. We’ll just have to see how this thing plays out.”

Would you like to see Al Iaquinta take on Paul Felder in his next fight? Let us know in the comments below.