Al Iaquinta Ultimate Fighter Live journey may have ended with a technical submission loss to Michael Chiesa, but as one door has closed, a lot more will soon be opening for the Wantagh, N.Y., fighter. The lightweight and top pick of Urijah Faber earned respective $25,000 bonuses when fans selected his fight with Myles Jury as "Fight of the Season" and his elbow to the face of Andy Ogle as the best knockout.
Like Chiesa, Iaquinta was fighting for the third time in three weeks and immediately went for the kill. But once Chiesa took him down and got his back, Iaquinta fell victim to a rear naked choke. In vein, Iaquinta tried prying Chiesa's arm away from his throat, but went to sleep to fall to 5-2-1 in his MMA career.
"The game plan was to push the pace, pressure, the whole time," Iaquinta said. "Giving up the back and kind of panicking to get that choke off was not the game plan. What are you going to do?"
Chiesa moved to 8-0 to cap off an emotional season during which he endured the heartbreak of losing his father to leukemia shortly after earning his way into the house. In addition to a UFC contract, Chiesa was awarded a Harley-Davidson, and a TapouT endorsement deal.
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