Earlier this month, Al Iaquinta was on the wrong end of a memorable UFC main event against Donald Cerrone. Its effects extended well beyond the 25 minutes of action though.
The pivotal contender clash was an enthralling affair but an equally brutal one too. In an interview with "Ariel Helwani's MMA Show" on ESPN, Iaquinta (14-5-1) detailed the injuries he sustained opposite 'Cowboy.' “I broke my nose, I fractured my (right) orbital bone and had some deep bruising on my legs because of those kicks. (The bruising from the kicks) was brutal. I’m just finally starting to be able to move around. It took its toll. That won’t happen again, that’s for sure.”
That damage proves pivotal within the fight of course too, with Iaquinta pointing to one particular issue that hindered his performance. “He hit me with a stiff jab that I don’t know if it broke my nose, it cut my nose open,” he said. “He hit me with a bunch of shots so it could have been any one. He did cut me open; that could’ve been the one. I think it was somewhere in the third round where he caught me in the eye, the third or the fourth round. It definitely affected my vision, and it definitely was something tough to fight through. But it is what it is. I train to be in those situations.”
While Iaquinta believes that he could've got his arm raised against Cerrone, he maintains immense respect for his fellow contender. “I had every opportunity to win the fight, and I should’ve, but I didn’t. He beat the (expletive) out of me the way a veteran gets it done. He’s good, man. He’s good.”
Either way, 'Raging Al' is hoping for a return later this year, ideally on UFC 244 at Madison Square Garden.