Former Ultimate Fighter runner-up Al Iaquinta will jump right back into the Octagon this coming Saturday night to face Pitor Hallmann at UFC Fight Night: Machida vs. Munoz.
After waiting over a year to return from injuries and lost opponents, Iaquinta (6-2-1) will have a more typical turnaround, fighting just a couple months after disposing of Ryan Couture.
“I am all ready to go,” said Iaquinta, in an interview with FightLine. “Training has been going very well. I have been using the same training partners as well.
“I’m working my stand-up with everyone at Ray Longo’s, doing my (Brazilian jiu-jitsu) with the (Matt) Serra crew and putting it all together with the help of (UFC middleweight champion) Chris Weidman and Johnny Bonilla-Bowman.”
Iaquinta had little trouble picking Couture apart, earning his first UFC victory in the process. He was expected to face Anthony Njokuani this weekend, but he bowed out with an injury.
Already a replacement for Paul Taylor, Iaquinta was excited to find out that the promotion had been able to re-book him for the England card.
The international travel hasn’t been an issue for the New York native, as he has been prepping himself for the eventual jet-lag.
“I have been going to bed and waking up very early to try to reduce the mount of jet lag,” he said. “Going overseas to fight has not been much of a headache (so far).”
The opportunity to travel has also opened another door for Iaquinta, as he is looking to find himself a ticket for a soccer match – the beloved sport of England.
“I am hoping to see a soccer game….or football as they call it,” he said. “Manchester United is playing on (October) 23, so hopefully my schedule will allow for me to check it out.”