Cerrone has been booked to fight Iaquinta on May 4th, after taking out Hernandez in round two, of their UFC Brooklyn fight in January. Leading up to the contest, many believed Hernandez could spoil Cerrone’s return to the lightweight division. After all, “The Great” was riding an eight-fight winning streak, which included wins over Beneil Dariush and Olivier Aubin-Mercier.
“Stylistically, I think that, like I said before, my youth and my experience is peaking both at the same time right now,” Iaquinta said. “I’m coming into my prime as far as physicality and my experience. I’ve been in there also with a bunch of the top guys. I’ve been in there with the best.
“I think that Cowboy’s last fight, he fought a guy who was young, hungry, but he wasn’t too experienced, and I think that showed as the fight wore on,” Iaquinta continued. “That kid got into the second round and he melted. I think that I have that same hunger and that same drive right now on my way up, but I have the experience that he lacked. I think that’s going to be the difference in this fight, that I have both. I have that hunger, that drive, that youthfulness, and the experience is what’s going to do it for me.”
It’s an interesting point. Although Iaquinta doesn’t have that many more fights under his belt than Hernandez, he’s been fighting for the UFC since 2012. Further, during that time “Raging Al” has taken on top-tier fighters like Jorge Masvidal, Diego Sanchez, Kevin Lee and Khabib Nurmagomedov, among others. So, there’s no denying that Iaquinta’s been around the block and then some.
Heading into UFC Ottawa, Iaquinta is sitting in the #4 spot at 155. So, if he can score a big win over Cerrone, he could very well move into a title shot eliminator.