Al Iaquinta vs. Kevin Lee
|Date & Time||Saturday December 15, 2018, 11:30 PM (EST)|
The Line: Iaquinta +263 / Lee -302 -- Over/Under:
Kevin Lee and Al Iaquinta fight Saturday during UFC on Fox 31 at the Fiserv Forum.
Kevin Lee enters this fight with a 16-4 record and has won 47 percent of his fights by submission. Lee has won six of his last seven fights and is coming off a April win over Edson Barboza. Lee is averaging 3.6 significant strikes per minute with an accuracy percentage of 41.5 percent. Lee is averaging 3.33 takedowns with an accuracy percentage of 42 percent. Lee bounced back nicely from his loss to Tony Ferguson, with a fifth round knockout and now has a shot to win at least two fights in a single year for the seventh straight year. Lee has produced finishes in each of his last five victories, making him one of the more exciting fighters in the sport right now. Lee is a strong athlete who usually gets the fight where he wants it, and that’s usually on the canvas where he can grapple and wrestle with just about anybody. Lee has executed double-digit takedowns in his last four fights and does a wonderful job of being in control and dictating the pace of the fight. Lee has eight victories by submission and has only been submitted one despite all the time he’s fighting on the ground. Lee is also an underrated come forward striker, but he’s clearly proving his bread and butter is his ground game and aggressiveness with the takedowns. This will be Lee’s first career fight in Wisconsin.
Al Iaquinta enters this fight with a 13-4-1 record and has won 54 percent of his fights by knockout. Iaquinta has won five of his last six fights and is coming off a April loss to Khabib Nurmagomedov. Iaquinta is averaging 4.28 significant strikes per minute with an accuracy percentage of 40 percent. Iaquinta is averaging 0.98 takedowns with an accuracy percentage of 28 percent. Iaquinta watched his five fight winning streak come to an end a few months ago, but he went five rounds with arguably the best fighter on the planet right now, so his confidence should be higher despite the result. Iaquinta is currently the only fighter who has gone five rounds with Khabib, which is an accomplishment. Iaquinta has shown to be a much more polished striker at this stage of his career than a grappler, as 89 percent of his damage comes standing up and four of his last five victories have come by knockout. However, Iaquinta is no stranger to attempting takedowns and just went 25 minutes in the octagon with the best wrestler in the world, so he’s a little more balanced than the stats suggest. Iaquinta’s experience he gained in his last bout should help him tremendously in this rematch. This will be Iaquinta’s second career fight in Wisconsin.
Iaquinta obviously won the first fight against Lee over four years ago during UFC 169, winning in unanimous decision. However, Lee is a much better fighter than he was back in the day, and he took his career more seriously after that loss, moving from Michigan to Las Vegas, where he fights out of to this day. Lee not only has a massive advantage over Iaquinta on the canvas, but he also has a seven inch reach advantage. Lee is also wired a little differently in terms of competitiveness, so you know he’s been waiting for this fight for years. He should be ready.
The price isn’t great, but I have Lee winning this fight. Iaquinta isn’t good enough grappling wise to survive what’s likely going to be a ground fight.