LI's Al Iaquinta loses at UFC 173

Mixed Martial Artist Al Iaquinta of Wantagh will Mixed Martial Artist Al Iaquinta of Wantagh will be a contestant on Season 15 of the UFC's "The Ultimate Fighter." (Feb. 29, 2012) Photo Credit: David Pokress

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Al Iaquinta left no doubt with his expression as his mouth remained smile-less, tightly closed and smirked to the left side of his face.

He knew.

He knew his name was not about to be blasted through speakers in the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas and to televisions and Internets across the world.

Instead, it would be "Mitch Clarke" those fans heard Saturday. Iaquinta, from Wantagh, was submitted by Clarke in a lightweight bout at UFC 173.

"I was doing well up to that point," Iaquinta said. "I got caught so what can I say?"

Iaquinta (8-3-1, 3-2 UFC) dominated the first round but had his three-fight win streak snapped 57 seconds into the second round by Clarke's D'Arce choke. Referee Jason Herzog stopped the bout when he saw that Iaquinta was out.

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Clarke (11-2, 2-2) caught a leg kick from Iaquinta in the second round and threw a soft right hand. Iaquinta got his leg loose, went to his knee to spin around and put Clarke on the ground with a double-leg takedown.

Clarke was on his back and up against the cage. He threw three short elbows and as Iaquinta turned his head to avoid the strikes, Clarke moved his feet along the cage to reposition himself and go for the choke hold. Iaquinta then tried to spin out of the submission maneuver, but Clarke was able to use his legs to lock Iaquinta's legs and secure the win.

"I knew I had that D'Arce right away," Clarke said. "That's my money move. I heard him gurgling and my coaches yelling out to grab his leg. I felt him go out and I couldn't be happier for the win.

The first round was controlled entirely by Iaquinta. He landed a big right hook that sent Clarke staggering across the octagon and to the ground. From there, Iaquinta maintained top control most of the first round and landed several big shots to Clarke's face.

"He clipped me and my legs turned to jelly," Clarke said. "He wouldn't give me any space and I really had to fight to recover."

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