A lightweight fight for the ages helps the UFC say farewell to Fox last Saturday night in Milwaukee

The UFC went out with a bang on Saturday night in downtown Milwaukee and threw themselves a “Raging” party to celebrate their last fight on Fox before the make their big move to ESPN in 2019. In a main event that will potentially set up one of the most entertaining lightweight match ups next year, “Raging” Al Iaquinta (13-4) won over the judges unanimously in a rematch with Kevin Lee (17-4) in the main event fight from the newly opened Fiserv Forum. Iaquinta also won their first go around. “We had a lot of preparation for this fight,” said Iaquinta. “And when I have that, I can beat anyone in the UFC.” Lee had Iaquinta’s back twice in the fight and posed a threat but could not secure the rear naked choke he was going either time. “I’m devastated and embarrassed,” said Lee. “I’ve never felt as low as I do right now. I’ve fought a lot of great fighters in my life and he’s up there.”

Many people, including Iaquinta after the fight, criticized Lee for being to cocky before this fight and some of that may have shown as he sung and danced his way into the fight during his entrance. But as the fight began, the crowd seemed to shift more to wanting Iaquinta to win as that could potentially set up a title fight with current lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov. “If anyone deserves a rematch with him, it’s me,” said Iaquinta. “It’s not freakin’ McGregor.”

As we still await the fates of both McGregor and Nurmagomedov after their post-fight riot last October at UFC 229, a fight between Tony Ferguson and Iaquinta may need to happen first as they both are coming off big wins in 2018 and are both equally deserving of a title shot. “I think Fergusson is the guy,” explained Iaquinta. “I think I’m a perfect style match up to beat him.”

We have learned in the past that who is next in line to get a certain fight doesn’t always. And who you think is going to win doesn’t always come through. But after watching Iaquinta beat Lee the way he did on Saturday night, his stock in the UFC and in the minds of the fans rose to new levels and 2019 could be a very good year for Iaquinta. “I want everyone to believe in me,” said Iaquinta. “At the end of 2019 I’m going to be holding the UFC lightweight championship.”

Photo: Nicholas Cunningham

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