Al Iaquinta added to UFC 169 card in New Jersey
The closest place Wantagh's Al Iaquinta can go to avoid breaking a state law with his chosen profession is New Jersey.
And that's where Iaquinta will be on Super Bowl Weekend when he fights Kevin Lee at UFC 169 in Newark. Both fighters have verbally agreed to the bout.
"This is about as close to home as it gets at this point," Iaquinta said. "It's going to be great to have my whole team, family and friends there to cheer me on."
This will be the lightweight's third UFC fight in the past six months -- after sitting out for 15 months with a pair of injuries following his appearance in the finale of Season 15 of "The Ultimate Fighter."
The 26-year-old Iaquinta, who trains under Ray Longo and Matt Serra, won a unanimous decision against Ryan Couture last August, then won another unanimous decision over Piotr Hallman in October.
"I really like watching that kid," UFC commentator Joe Rogan told Newsday on Thursday. "He's a guy who's a little bit younger, more room to learn, but very exciting and aggressive. A quintessential Longo-trained fighter."
Iaquinta has been training with Urijah Faber and Team Alpha Male for the past few weeks in Sacramento, Calif., as several fighters prepare for this Saturday's UFC on Fox card. Faber was Iaquinta's coach on "TUF Live."
Lee, an undefeated fighter (6-0) from Grand Rapids, Mich., will be making his UFC debut in the fight.
Professional MMA remains illegal in New York State. UFC 169 is the fourth card at the Prudential Center in recent years. The main event for the Feb. 1 features the return of bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz against interim champion Renan Barao. Featherweight champion Jose Aldo defends his title against Ricardo Lamas in the co-main event. Frank Mir and Alistair Overeem also fight on the main card in a pivotal heavyweight bout for each fighter's future.