Weekend Warrior: Kevin Lee Takes On Al Iaquinta In Rematch

Al Iaquinta and Kevin Lee in 2014. Photo: Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC / Contributor (Getty Images)

Kevin Lee has the skills to match his confidence.

“The Motown Phenom” will attempt to bolster his already-impressive resume in the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s cutthroat lightweight division when he meets Al Iaquinta in the UFC on Fox 31 main event this Saturday at the Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee. There, Lee has the opportunity to avenge a February 2014 decision defeat to Iaquinta and move further up the 155-pound ladder.

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Lee, who owns a 10-3 record in the UFC, operates out of the Xtreme Couture camp in Las Vegas. The 26-year-old has delivered more than half (10) of his 17 career victories by knockout, technical knockout or submission. Before transitioning to mixed martial arts, Lee wrestled collegiately at Grand Valley State University — a Division II institution in Allendale, Michigan.

Kevin Lee punches Edson Barboza. Photo: Patrick Smith/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC (Getty Images)

Iaquinta, 31, has rattled off five wins across his past six appearances. The Serra-Longo Fight Team representative last fought at UFC 223 in April, when he accepted a short-notice assignment opposite Khabib Nurmagomedov (a.k.a. “The Eagle,” who went on to capture the undisputed lightweight championship six months later) and wound up on the wrong side of a unanimous decision against the undefeated Dagestani brute. Iaquinta, a.k.a. “Ragin’ Al,” was a finalist on Season 15 of The Ultimate Fighter reality series.

UFC on Fox 31 “Lee vs. Iaquinta 2” — which airs live on Fox at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT — will also feature a lightweight co-headliner matching Edson Barboza with Dan Hooker, a bantamweight showcase pitting Rob Font against Sergio Pettis and a lightweight rematch pairing Jim Miller with Charles Oliveira. Fox Sports 1 (5 p.m. ET/2 p.m. PT) and UFC Fight Pass (3:30 p.m. ET/12:30 p.m. PT) are scheduled to share coverage of the nine-fight undercard.

Edson Barboza. Photo: Patrick Smith/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC (Getty Images)

Meanwhile, the Bellator MMA organization has revved its engines ahead of a weekend doubleheader in Hawaii. Brent Primus, he of the perfect 8-0 record, will put his lightweight championship on the line against former titleholder Michael Chandler in the Bellator 212 main event on Friday at the Neil S. Blaisdell Center in Honolulu. Primus defeated the onetime NCAA All-American wrestler in June 2017. Bellator 212 “Primus vs. Chandler 2” will air live on the Paramount Network at 10 p.m. ET/9 p.m. CT.

The Primus-Chandler rematch serves as an appetizer for Bellator 213 on Saturday, also at the Neil S. Blaisdell Center in Honolulu. There, Ilima-Lei Macfarlane will defend the women’s flyweight crown against UFC veteran Valerie Letourneau in the five-round headliner. Bellator 213 “Macfarlane vs. Letourneau” streams live to DAZN at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT. DAZN will also provide coverage for a portion of the undercard at 8 p.m. ET/ 5 p.m. PT.

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Finally, Invicta Fighting Championships holds sway over the regional scene, as Jinh Yu Frey risks her atomweight title in a rematch with Minna Grusander atop Invicta 33 on Saturday at the Scottish Rite Temple in Kansas City, Missouri. Frey eked out a controversial split decision over Grusander in their first encounter on July 21. Invcita 33 “Frey vs. Grusander 2” will stream live to UFC Fight Pass at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT.

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