UFC Fight Night 30 Sneak Peek: Al Iaquinta (-160) vs. Piotr Hallmann (+130)

hallmann One of the preliminary card matchups at UFC Fight Night 30 that I absolutely cannot wait for is a lightweight bout between American Al Iaquinta and Poland’s Piotr Hallmann. The current betting line for this match at Several Bookmakers sees Iaquinta as a -160 betting favorite (bet $160 to win $100) while Hallmann is a +130 underdog (bet $100 to win $130). MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas originally opened Iaquinta at -170 and Hallmann at +130 and there has been little line movement thus far, indicating the public is split on who to take here. I also believe this is a difficult matchup to predict and while I do slightly favor Iaquinta, I believe it’s a pass at the current line of -160. In fact, I am recommending a pass on this fight altogether because there’s just too many unknowns to account for. With Iaquinta, we saw him recently return from a year-plus-long layoff to beat up Ryan Couture badly at UFC 164. But Couture isn’t a very good fighter and although he is relatively durable, it’s concerning to me that Iaquinta wasn’t able to put the finishing touches on him like Ross Pearson was able to in Couture’s prior fight. Although I have to commend Iaquinta for conserving his gas tank and going the full three rounds strong, I really believe he should have been able to stop Couture, who was one of the weakest lightweights in the UFC before he was cut. However, the fact that he did win that fight after 15 months off shows to me that Iaquinta wasn’t wasting time in the gym this last little while. He has been training hard alongside UFC middleweight champion Chris Weidman and under the tutelage of underrated trainer Ray Longo, and as long as he fights smart against Hallmann he should be able to keep the fight standing and outstrike his Polish counterpart on the feet en route to a decision win. I didn’t know much about Hallmann in his debut fight against Francisco Trinaldo at UFC Fight Night 28 except for that he was supposed to be tough, and he certainly showed his durability in withstanding a series of brutal kicks to the body by the bigger Trinaldo in the first round of their fight. Then, in the second round, Hallmann was able to get a fatigued Trinaldo to the floor and pull off a kimura submission victory. Although he has obvious holes in his striking defence, it was clear to me in that fight that Hallmann is one very tough young man with a good submission game and fight IQ. Safe to say I was impressed. And that’s what’s scaring me off a bet on Iaquinta here, because in his UFC debut against Michael Chiesa at the TUF 15 Finale, he definitely had the advantages in that fight but somehow let Chiesa get him to the ground, where he immediately put Iaquinta to sleep. Although Iaquinta is a solid wrestler and should be able to stuff the takedowns, if Hallmann is somehow able to get Iaquinta on his back or take his back, I could see the American getting subbed out yet again. Still, common sense tells me Iaquinta should be able to stay standing and, with his solid cardio and striking, win at least the first two rounds on the scorecards. Although the threat of a Hallmann submission will always be in the back of my mind, the fact that Hallmann took a beating so recently and took this fight on short notice makes me feel a little better about Iaquinta’s chances — but, as of now, now enough to make me bet on him. This is an excellent matchup by Joe Silva on paper, but as far as a bet goes, unless I can get Iaquinta at close to a Pick ’em price or Hallmann at +200, I’m going to pass altogether and just watch this as a fan and learn more about both guys. It should be fun.

Written by Adam Martin.

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