MASHANTUCKET, Conn. - His fighter nickname is "Raging" and yes, Al Iaquinta did just that.
Yet, even as the adrenaline flowed through Iaquinta's body, he remained in control of his in-fight intelligence during his knockdown of Rodrigo Damm early in the third round of his victory UFC Fight Night 50 on Friday night.
The Wantagh-raised Iaquinta threw a right hook that dropped Damm. He then yelled at Damm to get back up. Damm intimated to Iaquinta that maybe he should join him on the mat for some grappling.
"I hit him with a straight right and I saw his legs go out, and he hit his butt and sat there and stayed there," Iaquinta said. "I was yelling to [referee] Herb Dean, 'Get him up, get him up. He's gotta get up.' And he's yelling, 'Get down with me. I'm like, yeah, right. "
There was no reason for Iaquinta to go the ground with Damm, not with the way Iaquinta was dominating the entire fight with an excellent mix of striking.
Damm rose to his feet and landed several clean strikes during exchanges in the center of the octagon. Iaquinta emerged with the better of those exchanges and knocked out Damm at the 2:41 mark.
"That shows presence of mind, that he had the presence of mind to say, 'C'mon , get up, I know where I'm at right now,'" trainer Ray Longo said.
Iaquinta (9-3-1, 4-2 UFC) knew exactly where he was the entire fight -- in a good mood, light on his feet and having "fun", a word he used multiple times to describe his attitude in the lightweight bout.
"My whole mindset going into this fight was to let everything go," Iaquinta said.
He let his punches go, his kicks go. Many of those punches and kicked ended in the same place -- the head and body of the 34-year-old Damm (12-8, 3-3).
"I really wanted Al to be aggressive, I wanted him to keep the pressure on," Longo said. "I still yet to think he's gotten into the zone. I think tonight we saw a glimpse of what it's like."