The Ultimate 15 runner-up Al Iaquinta opened up the FS1 preliminary card broadcast for UFC 169 in a lightweight fight against Kevin Lee. Iaquinta took the early lead by rocking Lee in the first and following up with a close heel hook attempt. Lee wasn't put off, though, and controlled the entire second round from back control with a body triangle. The final round was extremely close as each man looked to gain an advantage, but it was Iaquinta that got the nod on all three judges' cards.
Both fighters worked to find their range early and it was Iaquinta that landed the first big blow. He caught Lee coming in with a big straight left hand. Lee was rocked and Iaquinta pounced looking for the finish, but couldn't before Lee was able to get distance and recover. After another minute of striking Lee came in for a clinch, Iaquinta countered by rolling down for a hell hook. He had it threatening, but Lee was able to escape and take Al's back as he returned to his feet. they wen't back to striking. Iaquinta ends the round landing an overhand right.
Both men looked to land the big blow coming out for the second round, but Lee switched it up with a takedown and immediately took Iaquinta's back a minute in. He got the arm under the chin, but Iaquinta was able to break the hold. Lee held the body triangle and kept looking for the choke with Iaquinta defending. Iaquinta wasn't able to escape before the end of the round, but was able to avoid being submitted.
Iaquinta came out early landing a pair of big punches that kept Lee backing up. As Lee got close, Iaquinta went for another heel hook attempt but ended up eating ground strikes for his effort this time. Iaquinta grabbed a leg on a low kick and Lee countered with a kick while his other leg was still in Iaquinta's hands. Lee working a solid jab game to keep Iaquinta back. Iaquinta still landing some solid shots for his part.
Al Iaquinta won the close unanimous decision (29-28 x 2, 28-27) over Kevin Lee.
Since coming up short against Michael Chiesa in the TUF 15 Finale, Iaquinta had gone 2-1 in his following three fights before tonight. Lee was making his promotional debut and had won all seven of his previous professional fights.