The last fight until the finale at the Palms Casino and Resort will be Al Iaquinta from Team Faber taking on Team Cruz’s Vinc Pichel. Both men have come a long way to get here, but only one will have a chance to keep chasing his dreams.

The MMA Corner’s Corey Adams will wrap up the semi-finals by breaking down this fight and predicting who will fight in the co-main event at The Ultimate Fighter Live Finale.

Al Iaquinta (5-1-1) vs. Vinc Pichel (7-0)

Both of these men fought in last week’s episode, so let’s break down their most recent bouts to determine who will have his hand raised this Friday.

Al Iaquinta stole the show last week, as he defeated his fellow Team Faber teammate Andy Ogle with a brutal knockout. This was the first time we have seen the type of power Iaquinta possesses, and he opened fans’ and his fellow competitors’ eyes with his performance.

In a bit of a controversial bout, Vinc Pichel defeated Chris Saunders by split decision, but many felt the fight shouldn’t have been over just yet. The first round was close, while Pichel took round two. Many people believed the fight should have gone to a third round to determine the winner, but a win is a win and Pichel advanced to the semifinals.

If you want to determine who has the most momentum heading into this bout, it’s without a doubt Iaquinta. This may be a factor that could determine who moves further on May 25.

Overall, the stand-up game is even between these two lightweights. All six of Pichel’s pro wins have come by knockout, while Iaquinta has racked up three, excluding his from last week.

If the fight hits the mat, the advantage swings to Pichel, who has submitted two of three opponents throughout the season. Also, Iaquinta’s only loss has come via submission, so look for Pichel to maybe try to take this fight to the ground.

But if you want a comparison of the entire skill set of both men, Iaquinta is the fighter with more talent. The 24-year-old trains out of a solid camp alongside Matt Serra and Ray Longo, who have molded him into an all-around good fighter. While also competing in the Ring of Combat promotion that has produced many talented fighters, Iaquinta is another contender in the making.

Pichel is certainly a scary opponent to have to take on, but Iaquinta will be a slight favorite in this fight. “From Hell” didn’t look all that impressive in his last bout, and with Iaquinta’s spectacular display, it’s hard not to pick the New York native. With that in mind, Iaquinta will advance to the finale on June 1 with a victory over Pichel.

Photo: Al Iaquinta (L) battles Andy Ogle (Josh Hedges/Zuffa, LLC)

About The Author

Corey Adams
Staff Writer

Corey Adams didn't grow up watching mixed martial arts, considering the UFC was just getting started the year he was born, but in his teenage years, witnessed the action and has fallen in love with the sport. Corey was the first to join The MMA Corner staff -- other than founder Josh Davis -- and has been writing for the site ever since. Corey attends Austin Peay State University, where he majors in Communications with a focus on journalism. When he's not covering MMA, Corey is still writing on many sports with both local and campus newspapers. His favorite sports teams are the Atlanta Braves and Denver Broncos. Follow him on Twitter at the link below.