Al Iaquinta finds himself in the main event slot again, only this time it didn’t require a bus to be attacked, a couple fighters missing weight and a whole bunch of negotiating.
Iaquinta will face Kevin Lee in the marquee match in Milwaukee for UFC Fight Night on Dec. 15. It is a rematch from 2014, a bout won by Iaquinta via unanimous decision after he fought off a rear naked choke attempt by Lee, making his UFC debut, in the second round.
The Wantagh-raised Iaquinta, a Serra-Longo fighter, last fought at UFC 223 in Brooklyn in April. His improbable rise from prelim fight against Paul Felder to pay-per-view main event for the lightweight title against Khabib Nurmagomedov was rather unique. But Iaquinta, on about 30 hours’ notice, lasted the entire five rounds against the relentless wrestling and ground attack of Nurmagomedov. Iaquinta (13-4-1) was on the wrong side of two 10-8 rounds on the judges’ cards, but many who follow the sport praised Iaquinta for putting up a fight for the full 25 minutes.
Lee (16-4) is coming off a thorough clobbering of Edson Barboza in April. Prior to that, he put together a five-fight win streak and became a personality with his microphone skills, a combination that helped earn him an interim title shot against Tony Ferguson in October of 2017. Ferguson won that bout by third-round submission.