Mixed martial arts career
Iaquinta, who is of Italian descent, wrestled at Wantagh High School and went on to earn his associate degree from Nassau Community College, where he also wrestled. Before turning pro, Iaquinta had a perfect amateur record of 14–0. Iaquinta began his pro MMA career fighting for the Ring of Combat promotion. There, he earned a record of 5–1–1.
The Ultimate Fighter
Iaquinta was one of 32 lightweight fighters announced by the UFC to participate in first live season of The Ultimate Fighter reality show. Iaquinta advanced into the TUF house by defeating Jon Tuck by unanimous decision after one round. Afterwards, he was chosen as first pick for Team Faber.
In the quarter-finals, Iaquinta fought Team Faber teammate, Andy Ogle. Iaquinta won via TKO in the closing moments of round one. The win advanced Iaquinta into the semi-finals where he faced Team Cruz’s Vinc Pichel. Iaquinta defeated Pichel via unanimous decision after two rounds and moved on to the finals against teammate Michael Chiesa.
Ultimate Fighting Championship
Iaquinta officially made his UFC debut at The Ultimate Fighter 15 Finale on June 1, 2012, against Michael Chiesa to determine the winner of The Ultimate Fighter: Live. Iaquinta lost to Chiesa by rear naked choke early in the first round.
Iaquinta faced Ryan Couture on August 31, 2013, at UFC 164, replacing an injured Quinn Mulhern. He won the bout via unanimous decision after dominating the fight on the feet and negating all of Couture’s takedown attempts.
Iaquinta was expected to face Anthony Njokuani on October 26, 2013, at UFC Fight Night 30, replacing an injured Paul Taylor. Then on September 24, Njokuani pulled out of the event with an injury. Iaquinta instead faced Piotr Hallmann. He won the fight by unanimous decision (29–28, 30–27, and 30–27).
Iaquinta was expected to face Bobby Green on July 15, 2015, at UFC Fight Night 71. However, Green pulled out of the fight in mid-June citing an undisclosed injury and was replaced by Gilbert Melendez. Subsequently, Melendez was removed from the card on July 6 after it was revealed that he tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs after his previous fight at UFC 188. In turn, Iaquinta was removed from the card as well.
Iaquinta was expected to face Thiago Alves on November 12, 2016, at UFC 205. However, Iaquinta announced on September 19 that he would not be taking the fight due to a contract dispute with the promotion.
Iaquinta was expected to face Paul Felder on December 2, 2017, at UFC 218. However, Iaquinta pulled out of the fight on October 31 due to being unsatisfied with his current contract and was replaced by Charles Oliveira.
UFC Lightweight Championship fight
The bout with Felder was rescheduled and was expected to take place on April 7, 2018, at UFC 223. However, because of an injury to UFC Lightweight Champion Tony Ferguson and the state athletic commission’s decision to pull replacement UFC Featherweight Champion Max Holloway over concerns over his weight cut, Iaquinta was scheduled as a replacement against Khabib Nurmagomedov in the five round main event. Although the fight was scheduled for the vacant UFC Lightweight Championship, only Nurmagomedov was eligible to win the championship due to Iaquinta weighing in at 155.2 lbs which is two tenths of a pound over the championship weight limit of 155. Iaquinta had already weighed in for his fight against Paul Felder prior to officially being announced as the new replacement. Non-championship bouts allow fighters to weigh in one pound over the limit. Ultimately, he lost the fight via unanimous decision.
Post UFC Lightweight Championship fight
Iaquinta was scheduled to face Justin Gaethje on August 25, 2018, at UFC Fight Night 135, in Lincoln, Nebraska. However, on June 28, 2018, Iaquinta withdraw from the bout and he was replaced by James Vick.
Article source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Al_Iaquinta