UFC 223 is a showcase of lightweight fighters from the main event down. The second most exciting matchup is Al Iaquinta vs Paul Felder. Both of these savages love to knock people out. This fight was scheduled to happen earlier this year, but an injury forced Iaquinta out. That could’ve been for the better as they now meet on the biggest UFC card to date.

Al Iaquinta who has suffered multiple injures outside of the octagon, is really a top 5 lightweight. When he’s in the cage and healthy there are few men who can best him. He is 8-2 in the UFC and has won 5 fights in a row including 4 by way of stoppage. He holds wins over the likes of Jorge Masvidal, Joe Lauzon, Diego Sanchez and Kevin Lee. In his last fight, he knocked out Diego Sanchez in a fashion I’ve never seen Diego lose before. It was a picture perfect right hook that sent Sanchez to the mat. From there ‘Raging’ Al smelled blood, went in and landed another vicious right hook and left Diego face down and unconscious.

Paul Felder is a man who prefers ground and pound, rather than the stand up KO’s. Although he has excellent striking, his elbows on the ground are even better. He has a UFC record of 7-3, and is currently riding a 3-fight win streak. His last 3 wins have all come via stoppage by his vicious elbows. In his last fight against Charles Oliveira he held Charles down and elbowed him with the most violent elbows I’ve ever seen. Charles Oliveira tried to tap out but it was too late and ended up getting knocked out cold by an elbow. The top game of Felder rivals the best in the division, once he’s on top of you it’s going to be hard to get him off. He has the ground control of Mark Coleman and the ferocious elbows of Kenny Florian.

This fight will be a stand up war. Paul Felder to me has the better grappling, but with that said he is quoted as saying, “once I get hit, the South Philly comes out.” He cannot help but to be in a brawl. ‘Raging’ Al is going to punch him… a lot. The only way this fight goes to the ground is if one man drops the other and in that case whoever lands on top will win. With the crisp striking of Al Iaquinta against the brawl striking style of Felder, I see a 2nd round TKO win for the New Yorker Al Iaquinta in front of his home crowd.

Image credit: mmainsight.com, bloodyelbow.com

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