Long Island's Al Iaquinta wins way onto 'Ultimate Fighter'

Al Iaquinta of Wantagh trains at Ray Longo

Al Iaquinta of Wantagh trains at Ray Longo MMA in Garden City the day before leaving to be a contestant on Season 15 of the UFC's "The Ultimate Fighter." (Feb. 29, 2012) (Credit: David Pokress/David Pokress)

Five minutes was all Al Iaquinta had to put his life on a path that could possibly lead to fortune and fame later on.

The Wantagh-based mixed martial artist used every one of those 300 seconds to solidify a unanimous decision over Jon Tuck in the elimination round of "The Ultimate Fighter: Live" on Friday night in Las Vegas. Iaquinta (5-1-1) will be one of the 16 lightweight fighters who earn a spot on the 15th season of the UFC's reality competition show, which moved to FX after seven years on Spike.

"Wantagh, baby," Iaquinta shouted into the television camera after the decision was announced by UFC president Dana White.

Fights were just one five-minute round as opposed to past seasons when they were two five-minute rounds with a third round available in the event of a tie. Iaquinta, a member of the Serra-Longo Fight Team (former UFC welterweight champion Matt Serra and his long-time trainer Ray Longo) in Garden City, was the 15th fight out of 16.

Tuck, from Guam, put Iaquinta on the ground early and looked for a submission attempt, but Iaquinta was able to get loose after a minute or so. Once back to his feet, Iaquinta dominated the striking battle and did enough to win the fight. A takedown late in the round secured the win for Iaquinta, who qualified for Season 12 of "TUF" but broke his hand prior to the start of the show.

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