Esther Lin, MMA Fighting
Two Ultimate Fighter (TUF) grads will be facing off at UFC 159 on April 27 from the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey, as New York native Al Iaquinta takes on Massachusetts' own Joe Proctor, likely on the event's preliminary card.
A battle of former Ultimate Fighters is set for "The Garden State" after Al Iaquinta's personal website announced his upcoming fight at UFC 159, which goes down on April 27, 2013 from the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey
Both men were competitors on TUF 15 under Urijah Faber and they both made it relatively far into the competition. Proctor was stopped at the quarterfinals after a loss to James Vick, and Al made it all the way to the finals before being submitted by Michael Chiesa at the live finale.
Time to regroup and rebound.
Following his defeat, Iaquinta has been held back by injuries preventing his return. He was called out by fellow TUF runner-up Mike Ricci and seemed open to the bout, but ultimately, Ricci was booked to face Colin Fletcher at UFC 158 instead.
Prior to the Chiesa fight, his only loss came to Pat Audinwood by submission for the Ring of Combat (ROC) championship.
Also at the TUF 15 live finale, Joe Proctor put on an impressive performance over team Cruz fighter Jeremy Larsen. Shortly into the first round, Proctor caught Larsen with a powerful knee and followed up with ground strikes for the technical knockout victory.
At UFC on FOX 5, Proctor lost a unanimous decision to Ramsey Nijem in a fairly lopsided affair. He is currently 8-2 in his professional career, with four of his eight wins coming by way of submission.
UFC 159 features a headliner between TUF 17 coaches Jon Jones and Chael Sonnen, who slug it out for "Bones'" light heavyweight title. In addition, Michael Bisping will bang it out against fellow middleweight Alan Belcher in the co-main event.
See the rest of the UFC 159 fight card and rumors here.