Despite being 0-1 all-time against Al Iaquinta, Kevin Lee actually enters their lightweight matchup this Saturday night at UFC on FOX 31 as the proverbial odds-on-favorite.
According to SportsBettingDime, Lee is a huge -300 favorite against Iaquinta (+240), even though Iaquinta won their previous fight in 2014. Iaquinta was able to stuff 7 of 8 takedown attempts in the first meeting and used his superior stand-up game to earn a decision.
But Lee, now 26 and in his prime, has refined his takedowns and ground-game since that time. He should be able to control where the fight takes place and, as such, deserves to be the favorite. But the odds are not giving Iaquinta the respect he deserves. He’s a cagey, well-rounded veteran whose only loss in the last four years came against reigning UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov.
Lee fights out of Xtreme Couture and Las Vegas, as the former NCAA Div. II wrestler has earned eight submission and two knockout wins during his career. He is currently ranked as the No. 4 155-pounder in the UFC.
Iaquinta, who put together a perfect 14-0 record as an amateur before turning pro following his runner-up finish on The Ultimate Fighter, is a purple belt under former UFC welterweight champion Matt Serra. He owns seven knockout victories and a submission finish on his resume.
The recent loss to Nurmagomedov, which he accepted on short notice, snapped a five-fight win streak for Iaquinta, who also works as a real estate agent along with his budding MMA career.
This also marks the final FOX event for UFC, as they will begin a new contract ESPN in 2019. This card takes place from the newly-built Fiserv Forum and also features Edson Barboza vs. Dan Hooker, Rob Font vs. Sergio Pettis and Jim Miller vs. Charles Oliveira.
Below is the current UFC on FOX 31 fight card:
MAIN CARD (FOX)
Lightweight: Kevin Lee vs. Al Iaquinta
Lightweight: Edson Barboza vs. Dan Hooker
Bantamweight: Rob Font vs. Sergio Pettis
Lightweight: Jim Miller vs. Charles Oliveira
PRELIMINARY CARD (FOX Sports 1)
Welterweight: Zak Ottow vs. Dwight Grant
Lightweight: Drakkar Klose vs. Bobby Green
Lightweight: Jared Gordon vs. Joaquim Silva
Middleweight: Gerald Meerschaert vs. Jack Hermansson
Featherweight: Dan Ige vs. Jordan Griffin
Female Flyweight: Jessica-Rose Clark vs. Andrea Lee
PRELIMINARY CARD (UFC Fight Pass)
Light Heavyweight: Adam Milstead vs. Mike Rodriguez
Middleweight: Trevor Smith vs. Zak Cummings
Heavyweight: Chris de la Rocha vs. Juan Adams