Al Iaquinta is paying the price for his opponent’s suspension. | Photo: Dave Mandel/Sherdog.com
Al Iaquinta will not receive a new opponent for UFC Fight Night on July 15 after all.
Ultimate Fighting Championship officials Monday announced that the organization was seeking another lightweight to face Iaquinta after original opponent Gilbert Melendez was suspended for one year for a failed drug test. Hours later, the UFC issued a statement on its website confirming that “the fight will not be replaced, and the card will proceed with 12 bouts.”
UFC Fight Night “Mir vs. Duffee” will take place at Valley View Casino Center in San Diego, Calif., and is topped by a heavyweight tilt between former champion Frank Mir and knockout artist Todd Duffee. The Melendez-Iaquinta matchup was to serve as the show’s co-main event, a slot which will now be occupied by Josh Thomson and Tony Ferguson. As a result of the scratch, a scheduled bantamweight prelim between Scott Jorgensen and Manny Gamburyan has been added to the Fox Sports 1-broadcast main card.
Iaquinta, 28, was looking to build on the four-fight winning streak which he has compiled over the past nine months. “Raging Al” was last in action on April 4, when he claimed a controversial split decision against Jorge Masvidal.