Al Iaquinta shares a gym, trainer and jiu-jitsu instructor with UFC middleweight champion Chris Weidman. Now, he'll share space in the same UFC program.
Iaquinta, from Wantagh, takes his three-fight win streak to Las Vegas to fight lightweight Mitch Clarke at UFC 173 on May 24 at the MGM Grand. Both fighters have verbally agreed to the bout.
Iaquinta trains with Ray Longo and Matt Serra, the same guys who guided Weidman to a pair of wins over Anderson Silva in 2013. Weidman will defend his title for the second time at UFC 173 against Vitor Belfort.
Iaquinta (8-2, 3-1 UFC) last fought at UFC 169 in Super Bowl weekend, winning a unanimous decision over Kevin Lee. He fought out of a rear naked choke submission attempt in what was a very similar situation to when he lost to Michael Chiesa in "The Ultimate Fighter Live" finale in June 2012.
Clarke (10-2, 1-2) last fought in June 2013, beating John Maguire by unanimous decision.