It’s been three years since the UFC last visited the Patriot Center in Fairfax, Va., but on Saturday, April 4, 2015, the organization will return for UFC Fight Night: Mendes vs. Lamas.

While the main event between featherweight elites Chad Mendes and Ricardo Lamas is getting all of the attention, the lightweight bout between Jorge Masvidal and Al Iaquinta is quietly flying under the radar. Masvidal and Iaquinta are both riding three-fight win streaks and both are on the verge of becoming true contenders in the UFC’s most talent rich division.

As good as Iaquinta has looked during his last three bouts, he still has some work to do before he is ready to topple a fighter like Masvidal. Masvidal has been a pro since he was 18 and the now 30-year-old looks better than ever. As long as Masvidal sticks to the game plan, he will emerge as the UFC lightweight division’s dark horse.

Footwork

Iaquinta’s last three wins have been impressive to say the least as all three have come by way of TKO over some solid competition. But none of them are as technically proficient on the feet as Masvidal. By utilizing his superior footwork and movement, Masvidal should be able to keep Iaquinta from finding his rhythm.

Mixed Attacks

Even though Masvidal prefers to strike to beat Iaquinta, he needs to keep him honest. Masvidal needs to push for takedowns and grapple. By keeping Iaquinta guessing, he will be better able to score with his combinations.

Patience

Masvidal has been in the cage with some of the best fighters in the world. He has a huge experience advantage heading into this bout and he needs to use that by letting the fight come to him. When Masvidal attempts to do too much, he gets sloppy and it has cost him several wins. But when Masvidal fights methodically, he is one of the best in the world.

About The Author

RJ Gardner
Content Coordinator

RJ Gardner is a rabid sports fan and a long time MMA enthusiast. After watching UFC 1 at ripe old age of 11 RJ was hooked and his passion for the sport has continued to blossom over the years. RJ has been covering MMA since 2007 and has had work featured on Bleacher Report, SI.com, CBSSports.com and UFC.com. RJ is also a Petroleum Transportation Operations Manager during the day.