Though there was initially some suggestion that it wouldn’t happen, it appears that a lightweight battle between Justin Gaethje and Al Iaquinta will now headline UFC Fight Night 135 in Nebraska on August 25th.
Even as recently as yesterday, Dana White had claimed on the ‘UFC Unfiltered’ podcast that the fight wouldn’t be happening, with the suggestion being that Iaquinta’s financial demands were too high, but now today ESPN’s Brett Okamoto has stated that the fight has now been greenlit.
Gaethje will be returning to action for the first time since his second tough loss in a row, suffering a fourth round TKO defeat against Dustin Poirier.
Just a few months earlier Gaethje had also been knocked out by Eddie Alvarez in the third round after an equally punishing slug-fest, all of which suggests that ‘The Highlight’s’ propensity for all-out offense at all costs is starting to catch up with him.
Now he’s going up against another dangerous striker in Iaquinta, who bravely stepped up to face Khabib Nurmagomedov in the main event of UFC 223 back in April on the shortest of notice and went on to lose by unanimous decision.
Prior to that Iaquinta had been on a five-fight winning streak that had seen him defeat the likes of Ross Pearson, Joe lauzon, Jorge Masvidal and Diego Sanchez.