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wandshogun09

UFC on FOX: Lee vs Iaquinta 2 - Dec 15

Who wins and how?   

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I know I've been banging these out but fuck it. I've been laid up in bed for days now after an operation on my knee and, while the idea of having some time to just laze around in bed is nice, in reality I'm bored shitless. There's only so much of the Crime and Investigation channel I can watch with the Mrs. So I'm getting balls deep into these upcoming cards. 

On Saturday 15th December, the Octagon hits Milwaukee and it's the last UFC show on Big FOX before the ESPN deal kicks in next year. 

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FOX MAIN CARD
Kevin Lee vs Al Iaquinta 

Edson Barboza vs Dan Hooker

Sergio Pettis vs Rob Font

Jessica-Rose Clark vs Andrea Lee

 

FOX SPORTS 1 PRELIMS
Jim Miller vs Charles Oliveira 

Dan Ige vs Jordan Griffin

Bobby Green vs Drakkar Klose

Jack Hermansson vs Gerald Meerschaert 

 

FIGHT PASS PRELIMS
Erik Koch vs Dwight Grant

Jared Gordon vs Joaquim Silva

Chris De La Rocha vs Juan Adams 

Mike Rodriguez vs Adam Milstead

 

Not bad. We've certainly had stronger FOX shows but I'm happy with this. The top two fights are great and there's some new faces on the undercard that have caught my eye. 

 

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Kevin Lee vs Al Iaquinta 2 is a great main event for FOX. Two guys who are on the cusp of title contention. Both have had a taste of the elite level at 155 now. Lee against Tony Ferguson, Iaquinta against Khabib. And although they both came up short, they gave a good account for themselves. 

And yeah, the '2' wasn't a typo. I don't think that many people realise that this is actually a rematch. I forgot myself that they'd already fought before. It was a long time ago and they've both come a long way since. 

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February 1st, 2014 is when the first fight happened. It was on the FS1 prelims of the UFC 169 PPV. To put it in perspective, Renan Barao headlined that show and was still the bantamweight kingpin. And Jose Aldo co-mained and was still ruling at 145. So it's been a while. 

I have no recollection of this fight. Iaquinta was 7-2-1 going in and his biggest win was Ryan Couture. Lee was 7-0 with no notable wins yet. 

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Round 1: Standup battle early and already I can see these two have improved a lot since this fight. Ragin' Al drops Lee and dives all over him but Lee recovers quickly. Iaquinta winning the striking here and Lee is looking for a takedown. Bit of grappling now and Al's aggressively going after a heel hook but no joy. Back on the feet and Al edging it as the round ends. 10-9 for Iaquinta. 

Round 2: Exchanging on the feet and Iaquinta is getting the better of it again. He lands a big right but Lee finally gets that takedown he's been searching for. He's got the back now and is working for a rear naked choke. He's got it locked in tight but somehow Iaquinta survives it. Fuck. That's that Serra BJJ saving Al's bacon. That choke would've been a wrap for most guys. But Al spends the rest of the round with Lee on his back trying to choke him. Easily Lee 10-9. We're all tied by my scoring. 

Round 3: Iaquinta with some sharp punches to kick off the final round. Al shoots in for a heel hook again but Lee gets out of dodge. Close third round. They trade as the round ends and Iaquinta landed the better shots. Iaquinta's round for me, 10-9, and that's the fight. 

Winner - Al Iaquinta by unanimous decision.

Good fight that was. Like I say, both have improved a lot in the nearly 5 years since but it's interesting to go back to a fight like this. 

Following that fight, both guys went from strength to strength. Iaquinta racked up wins over names such as Ross Pearson, Joe Lauzon, Jorge Masvidal and Diego Sanchez. While Kevin Lee beat Jake Matthews, Francisco Trinaldo and Michael Chiesa. 

Around this time, Iaquinta and Lee started trading jabs on Twitter and in interviews. And when Iaquinta was publicly at loggerheads with UFC management and was on about fucking off to sell houses, Lee couldn't resist throwing in his two penneth...

"Nobody wanna hear a grown ass man complain, finish your bum ass contract and then we can talk again. Nobody give a fuck if you retire. I need a home in New York area anyway so you can be my real estate agent. I'll spend your years salary in a month, now tell me who really winning." - Kevin Lee 

Lee got his big opportunity in October 2017 when he fought Tony Ferguson for the interim lightweight title at UFC 216. Unfortunately for Lee, he got staph infection during camp and despite putting in a strong opening two rounds he fell to Ferguson's triangle choke in the third. He successfully rebounded with an impressive win over Edson Barboza earlier this year. 

Iaquinta's big break was also less than ideal. He stepped into a PPV main event title shot on about 2 days notice against Khabib Nurmagomedov. He'd been training for a striker in Paul Felder and ended up fighting maybe the best grappler in the game. To his credit he managed to go the distance but lost a lopsided decision. 

And here we are. After a bunch of shit talking back and forth, the rematch got made. 

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"They offered me Kevin Lee on December 15th in Milwaukee. On FOX. Sick! So I said yes. Now the ball's in his court. He's gotta say yes. He talked shit for like two years so he can't say no.

I'm not a big fan of Kevin Lee. He had the same attitude when we fought the first time. He walked in like he was, you know, acting all like he thought his shit didn't stink. I think I humbled him for a little bit after that fight and he was working hard but now his head's blown up again big so...I think it's right about time for a little reality check.

He's working hard and he's gotten a lot better. He's young, he's tough. Definitely tough. Barboza freaking kicked him, he survived that so he's definitely tough.

The goal is definitely to finish him this fight and make a statement and show how far I've come." - Al Iaquinta

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"Only thing I can focus on is me, getting better, getting stronger. I been telling 'em for years they better catch me while I'm young because I'm still getting better. I ain't too worried about Al. I ain't about to go back and forth on Twitter with that motherfucker. He can go and sell all the houses he wants, get the cookies and milk, I'm gonna be in the gym. I'm gonna be working.

"It's gonna be a little bit of a redemption factor. But I'm using Al to send a message that I'm the best lightweight in the world and this fight will send a direct message to Khabib. I been seeing holes in Khabib's game for a long time, I been calling that man out for years. I'm staying focused on Al Iaquinta because he will show up and he's gonna show up strong. He don't go away. He's very tough. He showed that Khabib is human, he gave Khabib his toughest fight. Al won't be a tough fight for me. When I go out there, I'm gonna humiliate this man." - Kevin Lee

This is a brilliant fight. 5 rounds if they need it, and the winner puts themself firmly in the running for a title shot in 2019. So big stakes, bragging rights and both have to back up what they've been saying. The Road To The Octagon for this should be highly entertaining as well. And if Lee evens the score here, this has trilogy written all over it. They're just such natural rivals. 

 

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Edson Barboza vs Dan Hooker is another quality matchup. Barboza is in desperate need of a big win. He's a fantastic fighter but he's had a nightmare last two fights. He got ragdolled for 3 rounds by Khabib last December, then beat down and stopped by Kevin Lee in April. He took a lot of damage in those fights. He was on a good little run prior to the Khabib mauling, with wins over Anthony Pettis and Gilbert Melendez, but after those last two beatdowns you have to wonder what's left. If he is damaged goods then it could be perfect timing for Dan Hooker to swoop in and make a statement. Hooker's a guy who's really come into top form of late. He's won his last 4 on the trot, all finishes, all over good names. Gilbert Burns, Jim Miller, Marc Diakiese and Ross Pearson. He's on a roll. Dangerous striker. But that'll be put to the test against Barboza here. Great piece of matchmaking. 

 

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Sergio Pettis vs Rob Font should be a good technical clash. Bit of a quick turnaround for Pettis after dropping a decision to Jussier Formiga on the Khabib-McGregor undercard. He's also moving back up to 135 for this. All seems a bit hasty but we'll see how it pans out. Rob Font is going to be no walk in the park though. There's no easing Pettis back into bantamweight gently here. Font has mixed it at a high level at 135 and his UFC losses are to top guys like Assuncao and Lineker. He's beat, and finished, Thomas Almeida, Douglas Silva De Andrade and George Roop. 

 

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Jessica-Rose Clark vs Andrea Lee might be a solid flyweight fight. I quite like Jessy-Rose Clark. She beat Bec Rawlings on short notice in her UFC debut and beat Paige VanZant in her next fight. Lost to Jessica Eye last time out. Can't see her being a title threat or anything but she adds some much needed depth to the 125 division and she's likeable. Andrea 'KGB' Lee is 9-2 and has won 5 in a row. In her UFC debut in May she decisioned Veronica Macedo and got the FOTN bonus. I didn't see that fight. I don't know much about Lee, to be honest. The only reason I'm familiar with her is because there was a story a couple of months ago about a domestic abuse situation where her husband allegedly choked her and tried to burn her. Don't know the ins and outs of that story but I do know her husband also has Nazi tattoos on his arm which caused a bit of backlash on MMA sites before the domestic abuse stuff. So yeah, he sounds lovely. Hopefully she's rid of that shithead and focusing on her MMA career. 

 

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Jim Miller vs Charles Oliveira 2 will likely be entertaining however long it lasts. They first met at UFC 124 all the way back in December 2010. The night GSP almost jabbed Koscheck’s eye out. Miller got the win with a kneebar in 2 minutes, which was a shock at the time given Oliveira’s BJJ skills but just goes to show how good Miller was at his best. It’s a bit different now. Miller is 35 and struggling a bit. He’s had a bunch of losses over the last few years but snapped a 4 fight losing streak in September with a quick sub over Alex White. Oliveira has also had mixed results but he’s won 3 of his last 4 and comes in off back-to-back submission wins. Timing-wise you’d probably favour Oliveira to even the score but Miller’s crafty and could catch him. 

 

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Dan Ige vs Jordan Griffin is a complete shot in the dark for me but I'm kind of intrigued. Ige is 9-2 with 7 finishes. Coming off a quick TKO over Mike Santiago at UFC 225 in June. Jordan Griffin was on Dana White's Contender Series, 28 years old, 17-5-0 record. His nickname is 'Native Psycho'. OK. He's from Milwaukee so a hometown boy, trains at Roufusport. He's finished his last 8 wins. 

 

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Bobby Green vs Drakkar Klose, I don't really know if I'm looking forward to or not. Both skilled fighters but you never know what you're getting with Green in particular. He had an incredible fight with Lando Vannata last year that went to a draw, but maybe that fight being so fun was more the Lando factor. I don't think Lando's capable of a dud. Klose is no pushover himself. 9-1-1 with wins over Vannata and Marc Diakiese. 

 

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Jack Hermansson vs Gerald Meerschaert should be entertaining while it lasts. I like watching Hermansson. Not a contender or anything but he seems a bit of a wildman and when he wins it's usually by stoppage. He scored his biggest career victory at UFC 224 in May when he TKO'd Thales Leites. Meerschaert is another hometown Roufus trained guy. 28-9, in his last 10 fights he's only lost to Thiago Santos.

 

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Erik Koch vs Dwight Grant could be a crucial one for Koch. He's lost 5 of his last 7 fights and coming off 2 consecutive losses now. Decent fighter, it's just never clicked for him for whatever reason. He's still only just turned 30, another Roufus guy. He could do with something spectacular here. Dwight 'The Body Snatcher' Grant is 8-1 with 6 TKOs. Fights out of AKA and was on Dana's Contender Series. 

 

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Jared Gordon vs Joaquim Silva is a fight I'm interested to see. Gordon's got a hell of a story. He was a heroin addict and homeless a few years ago. He was legally dead for 2 minutes in 2015. Now he's clean and putting it all into his MMA career. Check this quote;

"I overdosed three times. I was facing 25 years to life at one point. I've been homeless, panhandling, I've been to psych wards. I've been to rehab 10 times, and I've had near-death situations. At this point, I just consider myself grateful and extremely lucky and blessed to be where I am." - Jared Gordon

As far as MMA goes, he's 14-2, coming off a loss to Carlos Diego Ferreira but had won 5 in a row before that. He's a BJJ brown belt under John Danaher. Hard not to root for the guy with that backstory. Tough fight here though. Joaquim Silva is 10-1 with 8 finishes and is a BJJ black belt. 

 

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Chris De La Rocha vs Juan Adams is ***WAND'S ONE TO WATCH*** and could be a fun heavyweight slobberknocker. De La Rocha is 39 years old and has a 5-2 record. I don't think Daniel Cormier or Derrick Lewis are worrying about him but he's one of those heavies who's good for a wild and sloppy, hard hitting brawl on the undercards. He TKO'd Rashad Coulter in his last fight at UFC 225 and it was entertaining as fuck to watch. Juan Adams is 4-0 with 4 knockouts, another Dana Contender Series guy. He reportedly walks around at close to 300lbs and has to cut to 265. And at 6'5", he's a big lump. Trains with Curtis Blaydes. Only 26 years old as well. I'm intrigued. So far, so good. And that is a cracking afro, it must be said. 

 

Plenty to get stuck into there. 

Edited by wandshogun09

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Thanks for the write up, was wondering about their first fight. Can't say I have a lot of time for Raging Al as a contender but what do I know. What's wand's one to watch, @wandshogun09? 

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4 hours ago, OzExile said:

What's wand's one to watch, @wandshogun09? 

Forgot about that. Was going to be Barboza vs Hooker but I've gone with De La Rocha vs Adams because there's something about Juan Adams that's got me interested and who doesn't love a heavyweight slugfest? 

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That De La Rocha is stupid tough, ill be checking that fight.

Hooker/Barboza is a great fight. I think Hooker has quietly become arguably the most underrated fighter in the UFC. Perfect example of a guy whos benefited from moving up a division, seems to be dispatching good fighters with relative ease at 155. 

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Great work on all the write ups Wand, hopefully the knee heals up quickly for you. 

I like the highlighting of De La Rocha, and Coulter on these upcoming cards. Two giant, fun, battering rams those pair are. If JR was a UFC commentator, his head would explode with the amount of times he would be trying to say slobberknocker when watching the two of them. 

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Thanks a lot Al. 

And yeah, there's something to be said for two big hosses just going out there and leathering the piss out of each other until one falls down. 

As much as I would be over the moon to see Derrick Lewis win the title in a few weeks, if he doesn't then I wouldn't be at all against seeing the Beast in with a Coulter, De La Rocha, Juan Adams, any of the undercard heavyweight sluggers. 

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Sign me up as soon as possible for all of those. I'm putting the odds of a KO finish somewhere around the 1/8 mark if any such fights made it into the cage. It'd be Flair flop central. 

Edited by WeeAl

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