Al Iaquinta was waiting for the right opportunity to present itself.
When Quinn Mulhern went down with an injury, Iaquinta jumped at the chance to get back inside the Octagon, as the former Ultimate Fighter runner-up will face Ryan Couture in August at UFC 164: Henderson vs. Pettis.
Iaquinta (5-2) hasn’t competed since 2012 loss in June to Mike Chiesa in the TUF finale. A knee injury knocked him – and Joe Proctor – out of a planned meeting this past April.
“I have been training hard for a while now and was looking to get a fight for a little bit,” said Iaquinta, in an interview with FightLine.com. “This is perfect timing, as I will be peaking at the right time.”
Iaquinta, a member of the rapidly-rising Serra-Longo Fight Team, noticed that UFC officials were compiling fights quickly for the remaining cards in 2013. He didn’t want to miss out on strapping the gloves back on and showing off his improved skills.
“I actually thought I was going to be getting a fight in late September or October, and I really didn’t want to wait that long,” Iaquinta said. “I’m really looking forward to getting back in there. I’ve been training pretty hard for the last year aside from a few injuries, and I have improved tremendously.
“I’m looking to show everyone what I can do now.”
Iaquinta will be facing the son of a former UFC champion and hall of famer in Ryan Couture, who’s father is Randy Couture. Couture (6-2) dropped his Octagon debut to Ross Pearson this past April.
“I think Ryan is a talented fighter with a tremendous heart,” Iaquinta said. “It is going to be a fun fight to train for. When I got that call that I would be stepping in against him, I was immediately excited to get started preparing to fight him.
“I’m really looking forward to it.”
UFC 164 goes down August 31 from Milwaukee, Wisconsin.