Day in and day out, Al Iaquinta sees just what kind of work Chris Weidman puts in to wear the UFC middleweight title.
So, when people call him the “lightweight” version of Weidman, Iaquinta isn’t upset. The former Ultimate Fighter winner will look to keep the momentum going from a win over Ross Pearson next month when he meets Joe Lauzon at UFC 183.
“It’s a tremendous compliment because I see what the guys does in the gym every day and you know, it’s what everyone aspires to be,” said Iaquinta, during a recent interview with Submission Radio. “It’s definitely a huge compliment and I appreciate it for sure.”
Iaquinta (10-3-1) has won two straight, both via finishes, over Pearson and Rodrigo Damm since a loss to Mitch Clarke earlier this year. Overall, he posted a 3-1 mark in 2014 and is 5-2 inside the Octagon.
In Lauzon (24-9), Iaquinta will be facing a multi-time fight-night bonus winner. And while would gladly accept the extra cash through either “Fight of the Night” or “Performance of the Night,” that isn’t the plan going in.
“Everyone’s been saying ‘fight of the night, fight of the night.’ I mean if it gets fight of the night that’s good, but I don’t want the ‘fight of the night,'” he said. “That’s not what the goal is. The goal is to go in and have a flawless victory, you know, technically superior, dominating your opponent. That’s what I’m in there to do. So if fight of the night comes it’s great, but usually the fight of the nights, they’re kind of sloppy.
“I think the really, really good fighters, they dismantle their opponent and they win the fight of the night bonus by themselves. But I don’t know, Joe Lauzon wins a bunch of bonuses, so I think when I beat him they’re just gonna give him a bonus anyway. I won’t get one, but he’ll get one.”
Having already bested a known foe in Pearson, Iaquinta believes a victory over Lauzon gets him “one step closer to making them all humble.”