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UFC 164: Ryan Couture Vs. Al Iaquinta

Ryan Couture vs. Al Iaquinta

What should be an interesting lightweight tilt heads to the Octagon next, as Ryan Couture (6-2) takes on Al Iaquinta (5-2-1). Iaquinta, a former Ultimate Fighter runner-up, returns from a year-plus long absence from the cage, while Couture is the son of UFC Hall of Famer Randy. Yves Lavigne is the referee.

Iaquinta has provided FightLine with several exclusive interviews. He talked about fighting Couture, and discussed his UFC 164 prep.

Round 1: Couture with a reach advantage, but Iaquinta gets off the first few strikes. Nice quick left lands by Iaquinta, also known as “Ragin.” Couture fires off a big leg kick, a strength of his game, but is answered by a right from Iaquinta. Left to the body, right overhand combo from Iaquinta connects. Strong start from both, who are each getting off what they want. Iaquinta with an overhand right that drops the hands of Couture, and he goes to the clinch to recover. Big knee just misses by Couture. There’s an “Iaquinta” chant breaking out from the depths of the Bradley Center, as Iaquinta scores a takedown after catching a kick. Flurry from Iaquinta forces Couture to back up, and the Serra-Longo corner is excited, telling him to keep going forward. Flying knee lands by Couture and stuns him for a brief moment, but back comes Iaquinta with a pair of heavy rights. Iaquinta finishes with a takedown and some big fists, pumping up the crowd after doing so.

FightLine scores the round 10-9 for Iaquinta

Round 2: Matt Serra, working the corner of Iaquinta, instructed him to “avoid the (expletive) flying knee.” Good advice from the ex-champ. Perfectly timed right hand by Iaquinta. Couture takes the back off a leg sweep, works the clinch, but can’t get the takedown. Couture looking more patient this round, he just doesn’t have the same power as Iaquinta. Couture with a kick to the body and Iaquinta answers with a heavy right, almost like a “you hit me, I hit you harder” statement. Couture works for the single-leg takedown, but Iaquinta fights it off and hammers two more rights to the head. Little bit of blood on the face of Couture from the heavy punishment he has been taking to the face. Iaquinta with a nice left-kick combo. Iaquinta finishes the round like the first, scoring another takedown.

FightLine scores the round 10-9 for Iaquinta

Round 3: The first thing Couture says to his corner is, “I gotta finish him,” and they agree, so at least he knows what he has to do. Uppercut gets through for Iaquinta, and Couture answers with a spinning back kick and ups the pace. Couture gets a good body lock and scores a takedown, but can’t keep him down on the canvas. Serra right in the ear of Iaquinta, keeping him upright and he gets free. Perfect teaching from the ex-champ. Huge overhand right misses, but Iaquinta lands a left to the body to make up for it. Another flying knee by Couture and he has him backing up. Iaquinta sprawls off a takedown attempt, locks in a front choke and lands some nice right hands. He’s not able to get the submission, but he is peppering Couture with heavy shots to the body and face. Perfect elbow connects by Iaquinta, and he continues to hammer away to finish the round and leave Couture bloodied.

FightLine scores the round 10-8 for Iaquinta

Al Iaquinta def. Ryan Couture via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)