Al Iaquinta has a fight booked with one of the UFC’s top fan-favorites, but not the notorious opponent he’d been lobbying for.
Wantagh’s Iaquinta has verbally agreed to face Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone at UFC Fight Night in Ottawa on May 4, a source confirmed. ESPN first reported the booking, saying it would be the main event.
Both Iaquinta and Cerrone had spent the previous months calling for a fight against former UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor but now will meet each other with a spot near the top of the lightweight rankings on the line.
Iaquinta won his last bout in a five-round unanimous decision over Kevin Lee last December. Ranked No. 4 in the division, he went five rounds with champion Khabib Nurmagomedov in April 2018, losing by decision on just one day’s notice. That defeat is Iaquinta’s only loss since 2014, a stretch of seven fights.
Cerrone (35-11, 1 NC) last competed on Jan. 19 in Brooklyn, beating prospect Alexander Hernandez in dominant fashion in his return to thelightweight division. The fan-favorite sits at No. 9 in the official lightweight rankings. After that bout, Cerrone said he wanted a top-five fighter. In Iaquinta, he gets just that.
With Mark La Monica