At this stage, it seems as though almost every fighter on the UFC roster has expressed a desire to compete on November 12th at UFC 205.
It’s no mystery as to why.
The show will be the promotion’s first in the state of New York since 1995 and it’s first ever at the world-famous Madison Square Garden, something that was facilitated by the lifting of a statewide ban on MMA earlier this year.
Even July’s landmark UFC 200 can’t rival this event in terms of significance.
However, despite talk of a potential UFC lightweight title bout between Eddie Alvarez and Conor McGregor, as well as murmurings of a middleweight showdown pitting former champion Chris Weidman against Yoel Romero, the card remained barren.
Up until a few hours ago that is.
Brazilian MMA media outlet Combate were the first to break the news that Thiago Alves will take on New York’s own Al Iaquinta in an intriguing lightweight clash, with MMAFighting also reporting that sources have told Ariel Helwani that the bout has been added to the card.
Iaquinta(12-3-1) has won four fights in a row since a May 2014 submission loss to Mitch Clarke, with thee coming inside the distance. That impressive run includes wins over Ross Pearson, Joe Lauzon and Jorge Masvidal.
However, the Serra-Longo fighter has not fought since April of last year, thanks to a knee injury that required surgery to repair.
Alves(21-10) has also endured a lengthy spell watching on from the sidelines. His last appearance came back in May of 2015 when he suffered a TKO defeat at the capable hands of Carlos Condit. Prior to that loss however, the Brazilian had won two fights on the bounce.
This fight with Iaquinta will mark the former welterweight title challenger’s first foray into the lightweight division.