Wantagh's Al Iaquinta defeats Piotr Hallman at UFC Fight Night
Sometimes in mixed martial arts, the hesitant fighter is the one not getting his hand raised at the end of the fight.
And other times, the hesitant fighter is the one being interviewed in the cage after the announcer calls out the official decision.
Saturday in Manchester, England, was the latter circumstance for Wantagh lightweight Al Iaquinta as he won a unanimous decision over Piotr Hallman at UFC Fight Night. Two judges scored it 30-27 and the third judge had it 29-28.
"I got him hurt in the second round and I kind of hesitated to really jump on him because I've seen his fights before," Iaquinta said. "He takes shots and he comes back."
Iaquinta (7-2-1, 2-1 UFC) landed a short right as Hallman moved forward midway through the second round. The shot wobbled Hallman (14-2, 1-1) and gave Iaquinta the advantage he needed to win the round. Iaquinta followed it up with several shots, including a right hook that dropped Hallman to one knee. But from there, Hallman was able to recover and finish the round.
Hallman did something similar in winning his UFC debut seven and a half weeks earlier.
"He comes back and gasses the guy out," Iaquinta said. "I got him tired, I kept the pressure on and kept him thinking."
The win was the second in the past eight weeks for Iaquinta, who was out of action the previous 15 months as he recovered from two separate injuries. The "Ultimate Fighter" Season 15 finalist was supposed to fight Anthony Njokuani on this card, but he pulled out with an injury.
"I was meant to fight Anthony Njokuani," Iaquinta said. "That's the fight I"m hoping for and what I want next."