Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) lightweight veteran, Al Iaquinta, continues to tumble down the 155-pound rankings, thanks to his lopsided decision loss to Dan Hooker in the UFC 243 pay-per-view (PPV) co-headliner last weekend in Melbourne.
One that saw “Ragin’ Al” endure crippling leg kicks.
“The leg is fine, he’s mentally bummed out, it’s to be expected,” coach Ray Longo told MMA Fighting. “He’s the type of guy that wants to just work hard and get back in the gym right away and get back on track. It looks like he’s having trouble with the taller guys, for sure. That’s the first thing I’m gonna address as a coach.”
Iaquinta (14-6-1) was previously ranked as high as No. 4 in the division and even earned himself a crack at reigning lightweight kingpin, Khabib Nurmagomedov, in the UFC 223 main event. The Long Island Realtor dropped a five-round decision to “The Eagle,” then split a pair of fights between Kevin Lee (W) and Donald Cerrone (L).
“With this fight I think the first calf kick really had a big impact on him and then when he went for the takedown, he took some elbows to the head,” Longo continued. “After the first round, he was really fighting out of a pretty big deficit that some guys might not even have made it out of that first round, so he’s definitely tough. Tactically, it was good what Hooker did. But again, we gotta move on from it.”
As a result of his standout performance at UFC 243, Hooker (19-8) climbed a whopping eight spots in the lightweight rankings (see them here). Another high-profile victory is likely to earn “The Hangman” the next 155-pound title shot.
For much more on UFC 243 click here.