UFC Fight Night 151 | Al Iaquinta on 2nd Fight with Khabib Nurmagomedov & more | Sportskeeda Exclusive
'Raging' Al Iaquinta is making a return to the Octagon at UFC Fight Night Ottawa: Iaquinta vs Cowboy.
Al Iaquinta might have taken a step back in his run when he faced and lost to Khabib Nurmagomedov, but since then he has bounced back in the UFC with a win against Kevin Lee. Now, he is looking to find a way back to a title shot, with his fight against Donald 'Cowboy' Cerrone.
I was able to catch up to Al Iaquinta before the fight and pose a few questions before him.
Catch UFC Fight Night 151 in Ottawa live on Sony Ten 2 and Sony Ten 2 HD at 5:30 AM on the 5th of May.
'Raging' Al Laquinta Interview
Q. After having lost to Khabib, what did that first win back against Kevin Lee feel like?
AI: It was a great feeling. I put a lot of hard work into that camp. He was coming in with a lot of steam behind him. He’d been wrecking people. But he was also talking a lot of crap, so it was definitely satisfying to beat him the way I did.
Q. After defeating Kevin Lee, who’s a higher ranked fighter than Donaldo Cerrone, why did you agree to fight Cowboy?
AI: When I saw Cowboy fight at the Barclays Center, he got the loudest ovation. The crowd just went crazy because they love the guy. His ranking may not be as high, but everyone knows where he should be ranked. He’s right up there at the top.
Q. Since Cowboy is possibly one of the most celebrated fighters in the UFC, what does this fight mean to you?
AI: These are the kind of fights that I like. I was just a wrestler and I was watching him in WEC. I’ve watched him throughout my career. These kinds of fights are cool. Guys who bring it, like Ross Pearson, Joe Lauzon and Jorge Masvidal.
Q. What’s next for you after the Cowboy fight? What’s the next step?
AI: I’ll figure it out after I get the win.
Q. If you fought Khabib Nurmagomedov again, what would you do differently to the first time?
AI: This time I’d have time to prepare. I’m a very strategic fighter. I always come in with a great game plan and backup plan. I didn’t have any of that in the Khabib fight. He didn’t have time to prepare, too. But I think I’m a way better strategist.
Q. What’s the goal for Al Iaquinta in 2019?
AI: Finish the year with that belt.