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