UFC lightweight Al Iaquinta spoke recently with Fernanda Prates and John Morgan for MMAjunkie, ahead of his fight Saturday night with Diego Sanchez in the co-main event of Fight Night Nashville. Sanchez is notorious for biting down on the mouthpiece and throwing until everyone has been bleeding for quite some time. Iaquinta doesn’t want to play that way.
“It’s only got to be that if I choose, if I engage in that kind of fight,” said Iaquinta. “He’s good at getting guys out of their game plan. I watched Myles Jury fight Diego, and that’s kind of like a blueprint for how I think the fight’s going to go.
“I stay cool, calm and collected, and I pick my shots. It’s not going to be ‘Fight of the Night.’ It’s not the goal. I’m not trying to engage in his fight. It’s not going to happen.”
“[Sanchez’s fights are] close because it’s like two people yelling at each other across the street. You can’t tell who’s right and who’s wrong. They both look like idiots yelling at each other. If one guy’s cool, calm, he’s picking his shots, he’s explaining himself. And the other guy is yelling like an idiot. The guy who’s cool and calm, no matter what the argument is, he looks like he’s right.
“So that’s kind of how I’m going into this fight. I’m not just going to be swinging punches. Anyone can do that in a bar, and anyone can do that in the street. Anyone can do that in the cage. But he’s very mentally strong. He’s going to be there the entire time, so I’m going to be content just moving around and just trying to pick my shots. Make it look clean, make it look smooth, and make it look intelligent.”
This will be Iaquinta’s first fight in two years, following injuries and dissatisfaction with his contract, and he says now there is nowhere he would rather be than the Octagon on Saturday night.