No. 15-ranked lightweight Al Iaquinta picked up the biggest win of his UFC career when he defeated No. 14 Jorge Masvidal with a highly controversial split decision in the co-main event of today’s (Saturday, April 4, 2015) UFC Fight Night 63 from the Patriot Center in Fairfax, Virginia.
The victory, which was “Raging’s” fourth straight, came by two 29-28 scores from cageside judges David Terrill and Cardo Urso, while Doug Crosby head-scratchingly scored it 30-27 for Masvidal. In the end, Masvidal largely faded after a dominant first round where he opened up Iaquinta with a huge late elbow after rocking him with a crisp three-punch combo.
The Long Island native “Raging” was able to storm back on a fading “Gamebred” in the second and third rounds, battering the talented boxer’s lead leg with an endless supply of low kicks and some sharp punches as he controlled the pace. Masvidal outstruck Iaquinta in terms of overall volume, but based on the current scoring system the Team Serra Longo product technically did enough to get by with his pace. Check out the highlights of the closely contested bout and judge for yourself:
But “Raging” perhaps made the biggest splash during his post-fight speech as he was booed loudly by the Virginia crowd. The always-brash Iaquinta quickly responded with the following cringe-worthy outburst, eliciting quite an amount of disappointment from Octagon announcer Jon Anik:
After making headlines for trashing a hotel room after he failed to earn a post-fight bonus for his UFC Fight Night 59 win over Joe Lauzon, the rising The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 15 alum has proven that he’s never one to hold back with his intense emotions.
However, perhaps he should if he wants to continue becoming a star in the crowded UFC lightweight division, because UFC President Dana White Tweeted a surprised emoticon directly afterwards.
Like him or not, Iaquinta is doing just what is going to get him noticed. It might be a bit disrespectful, but look at how that kind of brash, outspoken behavior has worked out for Irish superstar Conor McGregor. Iaquinta may have won by the narrowest of margins today, but he made even more noise and gained more recognition with his profanity-laced tirade, becoming an excellent heel in the process.
What are your thoughts on his behavior – is it too much, or does fighting need more of this kind of character?
Photo Credit: Tommy Gilligan for USA TODAY Sports