Lightweight bout: Al Iaquinta (-225) vs Ryan Couture (+205) Fight Breakdown: The UFC 165 Facebook prelims features a lightweight contest between TUF: Live finalist Al Iaquinta and Strikeforce import Ryan Couture. Iaquinta is currently the favorite at -225 ($225 to win $100), while Couture is the underdog at +205 ($100 to win $205) at Several Bookmakerss. AL IAQUINTA (5-2-1) returns to the Octagon after being upset by Michael Chiesa at The Ultimate Fighter 15 Finale fourteen months ago. Iaquinta is a talented striker with good Muay Thai skills, and he is great on the ground as well, as he owns a purple belt in Brazilian Jitsu under Matt Serra. Al Iaquinta fights out of the Serra-Longo fight team in New York, which is also home to current UFC Middleweight Champion Chris Weidman. Iaquinta is a technical striker who likes to stay calm and collected. He has excellent conditioning and is capable of going all three rounds without breathing hard, although that can’t be a guarantee due to the fact that he is coming off a fourteen month layoff; after his UFC debut, no less. He’s only had one fight inside the Octagon in which he was choked unconscious in two minutes time. He’s followed that up with a fourteen month injury layoff, so it’s uncertain exactly how much ring rust, if at all, Iaquinta will have in his return to the cage. RYAN COUTURE (6-2 MMA, 0-1 UFC) returns for his second UFC bout after suffering a second round knockout against Ross Pearson, after he had won the first round. Couture kicked his career off in the Strikeforce promotion, where he went on a 6-1 run. His heart, will, and determination were the three major common factors behind six victories; even when he wasn’t doing well, he would make a comeback and take over the fight. Some of his fights have been close-contested brawls, in which he has applied his limited wrestling skills to his advantage. Much like his father Randy, Ryan Couture likes to hold opponents up against the cage and hit them with mostly ineffective strikes. His takedowns are okay, but he isn’t very successful with them against opponents who have solid takedown defense. Couture may only have eight professional fights on his resume, but he’s no spring chicken. He generally has good cardio and may very well be in his MMA prime coming into this bout. Fight Prediction: I envision this bout as being a close contested brawl with Iaquinta getting the better of Couture on the feet, and Couture holding Iaquinta against the cage and going for takedowns. More often than not, this fight will go all three rounds and to the judges scorecards. That said… Gabe’s Pick: Ryan Couture by Submission (rear naked choke, 1:50 round 3) Gabe’s Recommended Play: Ryan Couture +3.5 -115 for a large play and small on Ryan Couture +205, with a stab on Ryan Couture by Submission +750.