UFC 169 Play: Al Iaquinta (-245) vs Kevin Lee (+205)

aliaquintaUFC 169 Date: February 1, 2014 Arena: Prudential Center City: Newark, NJ Lightweight bout: Al Iaquinta (-245) vs Kevin Lee (+205) Fight Breakdown: The UFC 169 preliminary card on FOX Sports 1 will be featuring a lightweight contest between TUF: Live finalist Al Iaquinta and promotional newcomer Kevin Lee. Iaquinta Is the favorite heading into this match-up at -245 ($245 to win $100), while Lee is an underdog at +205 ($100 to win $205) Several Bookmakerss. AL IAQUINTA (7-2-1 MMA, 2-1 UFC) is heading into his fourth UFC bout on the heels of a two-fight winning streak with impressive decision victories over Piotr Hallmann and Ryan Couture, respectively. Iaquinta is a talented striker with exceptional Muay Thai skills. His skills on the mat are solid as well, as he owns a purple belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu under Matt Serra. Iaquinta is a Long Island, N.Y.-based fighter, training out of the Serra-Longo fight team under the tutelage of Matt Serra and the often underrated Ray Longo, who I think is one of the best coaches in the game today. Iaquinta is a training partner of current UFC middleweight champion Chris Weidman, so we know he works with the absolute best on a daily basis. He is a technical striker who prefers to stay calm and collected, rather than engaging in a brawl. He has good footwork and moves well around the cage. He hits hard and he hits often. The young Long Islander has excellent conditioning and will be ready to go all three rounds against Lee, should the fight go the distance. He has good wrestling, and very good takedown defense, so he will be looking to keep this fight on the feet, where he should be at an advantage. KEVIN LEE (7-0 MMA, 0-0 UFC) is a talented wrestler with solid takedowns who is set to make his Octagon debut. He holds notable career victories over Bellator veteran JP Reese and current BAMMA lightweight champion Mansour Barnaoui. He is a talented wrestler who works a nice single leg, and also has a good double leg. He makes excellent transitions on the mat, doing a great job advancing from position to position. Lee is a good boxer who is light on his feet. He has a solid lead jab, a nice uppercut, and throws a heavy overhand right. He has a good high kick, and also works kicks to the body really well. That said, Lee mainly uses his striking to set up his takedowns. He likes to get his opponents up against the cage, where he does damage with his knees, and when he decides to take the fight down to the mat, he employs a solid ground and pound attack. Lee has decent striking defense, good submission defense, and great takedown defense. He works a great front-choke, which he has finished a couple of his recent opponents with. Training out of Triumph MMA in Grand Rapids, MI., Lee is a well-conditioned and very durable fighter who has great coaches and does a good job of listening to them when inside the cage. Fight Prediction: I think Lee will be able to keep it somewhat competitive on the feet, enough to open up some takedown opportunities, which I think he will end up scoring. Iaquinta has solid takedown defense, but I think Lee will manage to put him on his back. This fight is a lot closer than the odds suggest, and I think Lee has a good shot of edging this out. Gabe’s Pick: Kevin Lee by Split Decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28) Gabe’s Recommended Play: Kevin Lee (+205) 1.4u to win 2.87u

Written by Gabe Killian

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