Category Archives: Al Iaquinta

Al Iaquinta gives Conor McGregor chance vs. Floyd Mayweather: 'I hope he shocks the world'

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Not too many people are giving UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor a chance against boxing legend Floyd Mayweather in their recently announced Aug. 26 encounter.

But the Irishman has found some perhaps surprising support in fellow UFC 155-pounder and resident truth-teller Al Iaquinta. While Iaquinta (13-3-1 MMA, 8-2 UFC) does agree with the popular opinion that Mayweather (49-0 boxing) will most likely keep his record unblemished, he’s not counting McGregor (21-3 MMA, 9-1 UFC) out.

“(McGregor)’s got the ability to surprise a lot of people,” Iaquinta told MMAjunkie Radio. “He’s been doing it since Day 1. I don’t think anyone’s in the position to doubt the guy.

“On the other hand, he’s fighting Floyd, who’s the best of the best. So, defensively, I think (Mayweather) can slow that fight down. He can make it a decision, doesn’t get hit, makes it look easy – doesn’t even really break a sweat kind of thing. I think that’s probably how it goes.”

One of the arguments made in favor of McGregor’s actual shot at winning the match is that Mayweather has a harder time dealing with southpaws – which is McGregor’s case. Iaquinta, however, was there in person to see Mayweather beat Manny Pacquiao, also a southpaw, in their 2015 “Fight of the Century.”

So why does Iaquinta think McGregor has a chance?

“The reason I’m giving McGregor a chance is because he’s defied the odds – he’s backed up everything he says,” Iaquinta said. “The first time, you doubt him. The second time, you doubt him. The third time, you know, wherever we’re at right now, he’s talked a lot of (expletive) and he’s backed it up. Honestly, I hope he goes out there and I hope he shocks the world. I hope he does. I think it will be a great story.

“And Floyd Mayweather owes me a couple of grand from that (expletive) ticket I bought. It was the worst fight ever.”

The match between McGregor and Mayweather was announced and detailed this past week, putting an end to months of growing speculation. The two will meet at Las Vegas’ T-Mobile Arena, under boxing rules, in a 12-round, 154-pound (super welterweight) affair.

After all the cash that went into a ticket to the Mayweather vs. Pacquiao affair, would Iaquinta be willing to do the same to see McGregor try his luck? The answer is no, but he did go from a categorical “not a shot” to a tamer answer upon further reflection.

“I don’t know, though, there’s the shot that McGregor does something big,” Iaquinta said. “You know how crazy that’s going to be? That’s going to be insane. But I’m not going to buy a ticket, no.”

While he’s pulling for his fellow MMA fighter, Iaquinta also knows that Mayweather is the favorite. And he expects this favoritism to grow the further the fight progresses, making McGregor’s chances bigger within the first 15 minutes.

“I think (McGregor)’s got to hit him with a hard left hand pretty early,” Iaquinta said.

But, whatever happens, one thing’s for sure.

“I’m keeping it real,” Iaquinta said. “I think if it goes the way it’s supposed to go, it’s going to be 12 rounds. And who knows if Conor can even go 12 rounds with the guy. He gets a little tired later, gets a little sloppy. But Floyd’s getting up there. He’s never been really a finisher. I don’t know.

“I’ll tell you one thing: I’ll be watching. It’s going to be interesting. It’s going to be a spectacle.”

For more on “The Money Fight: Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor,” check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.

MMAjunkie Radio broadcasts Monday-Friday at 1 p.m. ET (10 a.m. PT) live from Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino’s Race & Sports Book. The show is hosted by “Gorgeous” George Garcia and producer Brian “Goze” Garcia. For more information or to download past episodes, go towww.mmajunkie.com/radio.

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Source: MMA Junkie

Stream or download MMAjunkie Radio #2470 with Al Iaquinta, Evelyn Rodrigues

Stream or download Friday’s edition of MMAjunkie Radio with guests Al Iaquinta and Evelyn Rodrigues.

Iaquinta said he’d back Conor McGregor in his boxing match vs. Floyd Mayweather as a way to support MMA. Brazilian MMA journalist Rodrigues talked about how combat sports fans in her home country have also gotten excited about the Mayweather-McGregor fight.

You can listen below or download the episode from SoundCloud.

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Source: MMA Junkie

Watch MMAjunkie Radio here (1 p.m. ET) with Al Iaquinta and Evelyn Rodrigues

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MMAjunkie Radio kicks off today at 1 p.m. ET (10 a.m. PT) with guests Al Iaquinta and Evelyn Rodrigues.

Outspoken UFC lightweight Iaquinta recently picked up a knockout win over Diego Sanchez. Rodrigues, a Brazilian MMA journalist for Combate, is our in-studio guest host.

MMAjunkie Radio airs from 1 to 3 p.m. ET (10 a.m. to noon PT), live from Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Las Vegas. You can watch and listen live on MMAjunkie’s Facebook and YouTube pages. Additionally, SiriusXM Rush (Ch. 93) carries a replay later in the day (8-10 p.m. ET) and the following morning (7-9 a.m. ET), or catch a replay on demand.

MMAjunkie Radio listener guide:

  • HOW TO WATCH (ON WEB): Watch a live stream on MMAjunkie’s Facebook or YouTube pages.
  • HOW TO CALL: MMAjunkie Radio takes phone calls from listeners throughout the show. Call into the MMAjunkie Radio hotline at (866) 522-2846.
  • HOW TO DISCUSS: The MMAjunkie MMA Forums has a section devoted solely to MMAjunkie Radio. Stop by the MMAjunkie Radio forum to discuss the show, interact with the hosts, suggest future guests and catch up on the latest MMAjunkie Radio news.
  • HOW TO VISIT THE SHOW: You can watch MMAjunkie Radio live and in person at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino on the world-famous Las Vegas Strip. The booth is located in the resort’s Race & Sports Book next to the Mandalay Bay poker room. To plan a trip to Sin City and MMAjunkie Radio, go to www.mandalaybay.com.

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Source: MMA Junkie

After surviving 'steamroll ball of (expletive),' Vinc Pichel wants Al Iaquinta rematch

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AUCKLAND, New Zealand – More than just a third straight win on his UFC record, Saturday represented some cathartic relief for Vinc Pichel after some rough times.

Pichel (10-1 MMA, 3-1 UFC) put an end to a three-year layoff by flattening Damien Brown (16-10 MMA, 2-2 UFC) in the first round of their UFC Fight Night 110 lightweight scrap. Speaking to reporters after the win, Pichel got (very) candid about just how meaningful it was after a series of physical and emotional blows.

“It’s the best thing in the world right now,” Pichel said. “I’ve been through so much in the past few years. I’ve been through injuries – things that were going to put me out in retirement. I went through a tough breakup with my fiancee a month before I was supposed to get married. I was having a lot of problems, mainly with my injuries and life. I just basically had to start life over. It was really hard for me.

“Recently, I just had a girlfriend who I had to break up with because she was cheating on me with some dude from church. I mean, I have just a steamroll ball of (expletive) coming at me over the last few years, and tonight was my payoff. That was my big reward.

“Back in the day, once I was pissed off, I would go break some (expletive) or (expletive) someone up. I’d get into a fight. I can’t do that now. I’ve got to be a professional and an adult now. So this, right here, was me getting to let that out. Getting to let that tension out. It couldn’t have felt better.”

The lightweight scrap closed out the FS1-televised preliminary-card portion of Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 110 event, which took place at Spark Arena in Auckland, New Zealand. It followed UFC Fight Pass early prelims and preceded the FS1-televised main card.

For Pichel – who maintains his stance that ring rust is “bull(expletive)” – Saturday was the result of a perfectly followed gameplan. But while a first-round knockout to end such a long layoff would seem like an ideal outcome for some, the lightweight said we only got to see 30 percent of what he can do.

“I’m so much better of a fighter that people don’t realize and don’t know,” Pichel said. “And I honestly haven’t showed it. I’m at the point of my life now and my fighting career where I’m not going to be so hardheaded. I’m a little older now. I’m a little wiser as far as fighting.

“I have more experience with it. And I’m going to showcase that. And people are going to be scared of me – of what I can do, what I’m capable of.”

The 34-year-old hadn’t fought since UFC 173, back in May 2014, when he scored a unanimous-decision win over Anthony Njokuani. Before that, “The Ultimate Fighter 15” alum had recovered from a UFC-debut loss to Rustam Khabilov with a decision victory over Garett Whiteley.

If his more immediate plan – meeting a nice local lady to get hitched and become a New Zealand resident, of course – doesn’t pan out, Pichel will take “rockstar” week back home to reconnect with the people he had to neglect during camp. After that, however, it’s not only back to the gym, but to his full-time job as an electrician and also school, which he attends twice a week.

Despite his busy routine, Pichel wants to make up for lost time and make a quick turnaround. And he’s already got a target in mind.

“If Al Iaquinta is still in the UFC and doesn’t get cut from the bull(expletive) that he’s been pulling latel, I’m down to fight Al if he’s down,” Pichel, who lost to Iaquinta in the semifinals of their “TUF” season, said. “That’d be a good fight. There’s a New York card coming up in July (UFC on FOX 25, which takes place July 22 in Long Island), so I’ll fight him in his backyard.”

To hear Pichel’s full chat with reporters, check out the video above.

And for complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 110, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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Source: MMA Junkie