Another “Fight of the Night” candidate has been added to UFC 183. The UFC announced yesterday that surging lightweight Al Iaquinta will take on veteran Joe Lauzon at UFC 183: Silva vs. Diaz, which takes place January 31 at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. It’s expected Lauzon vs. Iaquinta will be a part of the evening’s main PPV card. On paper this is a very good matchup and a surefire FOTN candidate when it happens. Both Iaquinta and Lauzon are always in great fights and I don’t expect anything less when they square off each other early next year. For Iaquinta, a win over Lauzon would take him one step closer to breaking into the lightweight division’s top 15, something that he’s been trying to do for a while but seems to always come up short. He’s coming into this fight off of the biggest win of his career, a TKO win over Ross Pearson at UFC Fight Night 55, so a win over Lauzon would certainly be big for him at this point, as it would be his third win in a row since his shock loss to Mitch Clarke and it would up his UFC record to 6-2 since competing on TUF 15 should he get by Lauzon. As for Lauzon, he’s obviously one of the most exciting lightweight fighters to ever compete in the UFC. Almost single time this guy fights he’s winning a bonus, whether it’s FOTN, Submission of the Night, Knockout of the Night or Performance of the Night, because he’s always leaving everything in the cage. He is coming into this fight against Iaquinta on a two-fight win streak, with a TKO win over Michael Chiesa and a decision win over Mac Danzig. At 11-6 in the Octagon, Lauzon is one of the most elder statesmen in the UFC’s lightweight division, but he’s never been able to break through and get to the top of the weight class. A win over a rising star like Iaquinta, though, would certainly raise his stock at 155lbs. As for the betting line, while Lauzon usually gets some respect from the public I certainly believe the betting public will favor Iaquinta here, and I think he will be a large favorite heading into the fight, probably around -250. As long as he doesn’t get taken down to the floor, he should be able to keep this fight on the feet and batter Lauzon en route to a decision or a TKO win. But if the fight does hit the mat, Lauzon will be at a huge advantage. It should be a great fight either way, and I can’t wait to see it.
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