Jorge Masvidal was displeased that he had to fight Al Iaquinta today (April 4, 2015) at UFC Fight Night 63 from Patriot Center in Fairfax, Va., feeling that The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 15 runner up was not in his league.
He was wrong.
After an initial feeling-out process that lasted about two minutes, Iaquinta began to warm up with a collection of strikes to the body. Masvidal countered with a flying knee, which landed, but one that Iaquinta caught and almost used to score a takedown.
Iaquinta continued to dial up the pressure, but Masvidal calmly countered with smooth movement and accurate jabs.
Masvidal landed a nice spinning kick to the gut, which Iaquinta countered with a body kick of his own. Great, laser-like combination out of nowhere rung Iaquinta's bell. He went for a takedown, rolled for a heel hook, but Masvidal laughed, escaped and then exploded with a furious assault.
Iaquinta fell back and Masvidal started to unload, busting open his face and nearly forcing a stoppage before Iaquinta was saved by the bell.
To start the second, Iaquinta -- despite being hurt moments earlier -- came out the aggressor once again. It didn't take long for Masvidal, though, to open the bloody mouse under Iaquinta's right eye. Iaquinta landed a nice right hand, his best punch of the match, and followed it up with another clean shot that made Masvidal smile.
Moments later, Iaquinta dove in for a takedown, but Masvidal countered with a hook to cheek. Iaquinta went for another one, perhaps attempting to steal the round, but "Gamebred" shut him down for the eight time in the fight.
Third and final, and Iaquinta's corner is fired up, wanting their fighter to get busy. He started with a leg kick, and then a nice right hand, that had Masvidal nodding as if to say, "nice shot." No sense of urgency from Masvidal, who seemedcontent to sit back and counter Iaquinta, who piled up points with leg kicks and aggression.
Tired of chasing Masvidal, Iaquinta puts his arms down and stops, inviting him to trade. With one minute to go, the action picked up, with Iaquinta landing several combinations and jabs that get the crowd to their feet. Masvidal responded with more jabs, while Iaquinta is looking for a homerun shot.
The bell sounded and, despite a dominant first round, it was way closer than it should have been for Masvidal. Had he turned on any type of offensive pressure in the second and third rounds, he would have won it going away. But, he didn't, dropping a split decision and storming out of the cage.
The crowd reacted violently, and so did Iaquinta in his post-fight speech, cursing the booing crowd and storming out of the Octagon behind a perplexed Masvidal.
For complete results from UFC Fight Night 63: "Mendes vs. Lamas," including play-by-play updates, click here.