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Was Al Iaquinta top 5 material between 2015-2018?

Discussion in 'UFC Discussion' started by Tevfik1907, Nov 18, 2020.

  1. Tevfik1907 Blue Belt

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    Before fighting Khabib in 2018 April, Al Iaquinta was coming up from 5 UFC win streak, and one of them was against Jorge Masvidal, although that was a close decision, he still showed his striking skills and toughness of his chin against Mas. And before his Mas fight, he knocked out Diego Sanchez as well.

    Then against Khabib, he performed better than most of Khabib's opponents, although he lost every round against Khabib, he still didn't get choked or KOed by him.

    Then he fought Kevin Lee in December 2018 and he beat him via Unanimous Decision.

    Although he definitely started to decline after 2018, mostly because of injuries, but before that, he was pretty solid. What do you guys think, was he top 5 in his prime or only top 10?
     
  2. sampuncher Red Belt

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    No, he lost to Masvidal, most people who watched that fight (including the live crowd) all know he didn't win.

    Then Pearson, Sanchez, Damm and Lauzon, solid fighters but none of them are top 15. Lee is pretty much the only solid win in terms of ranking on his resume. Even when he was gifted the Jorge win Jorge was probably 10-15 ranked at best.

    So no, never top 5. Good fighter but he was never top 5 in the division ever IMO.

    He isn't declining, he's just as good now as he always was it's just he was never THAT great.
     
  3. Hellowhosthat Steel Belt

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    No, he's basically Kevin Lee's kryptonite and rides high off the back of that.
     
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  4. waldywaldy lol motherfuckers

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  5. PizzaandBeer Banned Banned

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    He gave Khabib a tough fight.
     
  6. Jojomojo Brown Belt

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    No. Not in a division as stacked as LW. His best win is FKL 2x. Thats it. A few solid names but nothing special.
    Yeah yeah he beat Masvidal, but that was pretty much a robbery.
    Other than that he is been riding the "He gave Khabib a tough fight"-train and some Khabib fans tried to sell him as a better fighter than he is.
     
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  7. The Apostle Green Belt

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    I’m going to disagree and say I think he was between 5-7. The two FKL wins say more about how fucked the rankings are. His performance against Khabib to me was insane. Poirier . McGregor. Justin. Can’t spell it. Iaquinta made adjustments and decided to eat shots later to try to stay standing. I don’t care if Khabib was preparing for someone else. So was Al. For 3 rounds.
     
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  8. mkt Gold Belt

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    He's a great example of "styles make fights." He's put out Kevin Lee's hype train twice. He's the only guy to go the distance with Khabib in a title fight. But he loses to Hooker and a shopworn Cerrone. He's a tough guy to finish (was subbed in some older fights but has never been KO'd). He's well-rounded but will lose to an elite striker or elite wrestler with a gas tank every time. But if you have a clear weakness or try to coast (like Masvidal did), he'll steal the fight from you.
     
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  9. Mayonnaiseandjelly Blue Belt

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    Al never had a moment of being by competitive. He was toyed with. Never endangered khabib with anything.
    Get over it
     
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  10. VinceArch I am all of me.

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  11. jx820 Silver Belt

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    At the time he probably wasn't far from it. It was a wierd moment where a few key players had moved up to 170, or left the org, and some of today's top guys had not hit their stride. Also, anyone who ever racks up 5 in a row in the UFC's LW division should be in top 5 or 10 discussions. There are very few people who get 5 in a row at any level of competition in the UFC.

    In early March of 2018:
    Eddie, Tony, and Khabib were ahead of Iaquinta for sure, but Tony was injured .
    Dustin was on a 2 fight "streak" but was 6-1-1 since moving up to LW.
    Vick had a 4 fight streak going, but not as impressive as Al's.
    Barbosa was coming off a loss.
    Gathje was coming off a loss.
    Kevin Lee was coming off a loss.
    Nate hadn't fought in 2 years and was coming off a loss.
    Conor hadn't fought in like a year.
    Chiessa was coming off a loss.
    Dariush was coming off 2 losses and a draw.

    A loss doesn't drop you off the rankings completely, but if I were picking an opponent for Khabib in a title fight from that pack I'd probably avoid the guys who just lost, so it would probably be:

    1. Eddie
    2. Dustin
    3. Iaquinta
    4. Vick
     
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  12. sampuncher Red Belt

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    I see your point but would you say someone like Leonardo Santos is a current top 5-10 guy in the LW division currently? He;s on a 6 fight streak currently (I think) but took a big break similar to Iaquinta. He's not even top 15 currently and holds wins over accomplished guys like Kevin Lee, Stevie Ray all on his current streak.
     
  13. Grapplefest Black Belt

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    No he didn't, GTFO here with this myth. No fight that somebody loses 50-43 is a "tough fight"

    Khabib is so damn good that somebody losing a 50-43 decision against him is a huge accolade. I don't think any other ufc fighter ever has been that dominant.
     
  14. Iron Skin Banned Banned

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    He does well agaist wrestlers, but loses to almost every good striker.
     
  15. blaseblah Titanium Belt

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    That performance wasn't that special considering he got dominated every round, including the ones that were spent on the feet. It's just he has better defensive wrestling than other fighters in the division so he was able to avoid getting submitted.
     
  16. jx820 Silver Belt

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    I wouldn't personally rank him there, but I think he should be in that discussion. My aprehensions would be more tied to him being 40.

    Iaquinta was 30 or 31 and in his physical prime, but you're right, despite the length of his streak, the frequency of his fighting was not great. Still with the whole division coming off a loss somehow, I still think he's a top pick for that Khabib fight in the moment and probalby worthy of a top 10 ranking.
     
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  17. sampuncher Red Belt

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    Only ever time I saw 50-43 is GSP/Dan Hardy.


    Weirdly no-one has EVER said Hardy gave GSP a tough fight either.
     
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  18. Tweak896 Black Belt

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    His skills are good and he underperforms frequently. Think if he went through intense training and focus he could take the title (probably not from khabib). Definitely was top 5 in a couple snapshots of the LW division.
     
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  19. sampuncher Red Belt

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    Yeah that's fair, I remember him stepping in against Khabib, granted short notice but I remember thinking "meh, worst fighters could have stepped in"

    Yeah good point about Santos being 40, I always think he's still 36/37. Shame he took so long away, same goes for Claudio Silva.
     
  20. Masturbin Porn Addict

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    He's a nice anti wrestler in a division full or wrestler so..... no he never was even close to the top 5
     

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