Sunday, August 7, 2022

Iaquinta: There’s No Reason Kevin Lee Shouldn’t Be Best in the World

Al Iaquinta is currently the man of the hour coming off his impressive unanimous decision victory over Kevin Lee at UFC Milwaukee. Never one to shy away from an interview, Iaquinta stopped by “Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show” on Monday to offer his thoughts on the fight. One topic in particular that arose is Kevin Lee’s comment to Iaquinta during face-offs at the ceremonial weigh-ins where Lee said, “Same ol’ Al.” Iaquinta is more than satisfied knowing that “Same ol’ Al” is exactly whom he reintroduced Kevin Lee to this past Saturday:

“Right between the fourth and fifth round, I looked across,” Iaquinta began. “His mind shined right through his face. I could look at his face and I could see. I said, ‘There it is…same old Kevin Lee. I see it right in your face. I saw it four years ago. I see it again right now. And I stood. I was standing the whole time, just like I stood the four years ago. I never sat in between rounds. I never made a face in the corner. I listened to every single word my coaches had to say, and I did everything they told me to. I looked across at him and I was like, ‘Same Al.’ And I could tell it just deflated him. I was winning that round. There was not a question in my mind.”

Iaquinta believes that this is just one strong example of the one thing that separates him from Lee and the one thing that holds Lee back: mental strength. In fact, Iaquinta believes that this is the only thing holding Lee back from being the very best:

“Physically, there’s no reason Kevin Lee isn’t the best in the world,” Iaquinta said. “But I knew going in that mentality wise, he’s not there with me. I don’t think he ever will be. I think there’s a huge part of the lightweight roster that’s just never going to catch up to me on that side of things. So when he said “same old Al,” it was such a weak attempt at getting in my head. And I really just caught the ball and threw it right back in his face.”

Do you agree with Al Iaquinta? Could Kevin Lee be the best in the world if he were mentally stronger?

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