Tuesday, October 4, 2022

Al Iaquinta on Kevin Lee: “I’m Just On Another Level”

It’s been nearly five years since Al Iaquinta welcomed Kevin Lee to the UFC, handing “The Motown Phenom” his first career loss in February of 2014. There is no doubt that a competitor of Kevin Lee’s regard has not forgotten that night; and headed into the UFC on Fox 31 main event that features the rematch between the two, Ragin’ Al has not forgotten it either:

“It’s definitely a fight that’s been a long time coming,” Iaquinta told MMAWeekly. “We’ve been going back and forth at each other as far as poking at each other. We’ve also been going back and forth in terms of the rankings. I won a bunch of fights, I became ranked and he was calling me out. Then he got ranked higher than me, I was calling him out.

“I do remember him being tough, strong, young and inexperienced,” Iaquinta said about Lee. “I remember him in the back he looked out of place but trying to look tough. He was grilling me kind of amateurish. Kind of new to the game but a young, hungry kid. He’s come a long way. He’s very seasoned now. He’s bigger and stronger now and more experienced now.

Since that first career loss back in 2014, Kevin Lee has gone on to make quite a name for himself, and has long ago surpassed Iaquinta in the lightweight rankings, currently at #4, with Al Iaquinta sitting at #8. But when the rematch locks up, despite the numbers next to their names in 2018 or the odds that have Kevin Lee sitting as the comfortable favorite, it is Kevin Lee whom Iaquinta believes is in over his head:

“He’s very outmatched with his striking,” Iaquinta said. “He’s very stiff on his feet. He’s not smooth. It’s not something that you can really fix. He’s got a long reach that can kind of cover for the mistakes that he makes but I’ve fought against the best of the best.

“I’m just on another level as far as the striking. I think mentally I’m on a different level.”

“I think I’m better than him everywhere,” Iaquinta continued. “He might be bigger and stronger but the longer this fight goes, the better it is for me. Technically, I think I’m just way more sound than he is. I’m a veteran. I’ve put in the time, I’ve put in the work.

Do you agree with Al Iaquinta? Is Kevin Lee outmatched headed into the UFC on Fox 31 main event?

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