Al Iaquinta may have made his first trip to the Octagon in more than two years at Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 108 in Nashville, but that doesn’t mean things between the UFC and him are smoothed over. In fact, they are quite the opposite.
Prior to Saturday, Iaquinta last set foot in the Octagon in April of 2015, winning a narrow decision over Jorge Masvidal. When he returned in Nashville, there was no sign of ring rust as he put on a fantastic performance, knocking Diego Sanchez out less than two minutes into their co-main event.
It may be the last time we see Iaquinta in the Octagon for quite some time, if not forever.
Iaquinta sat out for two years primarily due to being disgruntled with his contract. And on Monday, we learned that he wasn’t just upset, he was doing something about it.
“I took time out of my life to set myself up so I don’t have to suck up to anybody. I can do it my way. If I want to fight again, I’ll fight. If not, I’m not the guy that’s kissing up to the UFC,” Iaquinta said on Monday’s edition of The MMA Hour.
“I don’t fight for the UFC. The UFC has done nothing for me. They left me high and dry.”
Iaquinta made good for himself selling real estate and following his knockout of Sanchez said that he intends to return to that business, where he insinuated that he makes more money than in the Octagon. Iaquinta confirmed that he was paid $52,000 ($26,000 to show and $26,000 to win) for the fight with Sanchez. He is currently 10 fights into his UFC career with an 8-2 record. He has knocked out four of his last five opponents.
Iaquinta thought he probably should have at least earned a $50,000 Performance of the Night bonus, but did not. That’s really only a small portion of his discontent, though.
“For a guy that puts it out there like me, they should, I don’t know. I’ve never had a boring fight, I come to fight every time. I put on a show. Five fights in a row, four knockouts in the last five, no bonus money, no (expletive), nothing. They suck. Whatever,” he said.
“Joe Lauzon, who is the bonus king, I knocked out the bonus king to get a bonus and nothing. Diego Sanchez, the guy is a legend that’s been around forever and how many bonuses has he won? I beat him and I don’t get a bonus. (Expletive) them.”
His pay, as well as that of other fighters is really what gets Iaquinta fired up.
“I’m a professional freaking athlete, I just was on TV, FOX Sports 1, co-main event, and $50,000 is what I walk away with? Are you kidding me? NFL players are making real money. I should be buying houses on water, nice (expletive). This is (expletive) ridiculous,” Iaquinta ranted.
“And these guys are making all this money doing nothing. They are sitting there watching me fight. I’m the man; you are not. Dana White, he’s done a lot for this sport, but he’s got not one injury from this sport. For him to say the best part of UFC Brooklyn was the flight home. You are on a private jet, bro. Shut the (expletive) up,” he continued.
“For most people, that would be the highlight of their life, forget the night. You were on a private jet, of course it’s the highlight of your night. These guys fighting in the cage getting hurt, Jim Miller… (White) owes an apology to all those (expletives). That is (expletive). Shut your (expletive) mouth.”
It was an epic rant from Iaquinta; one to rival the man he was largely talking about, Dana White, who is also not known for holding his tongue.
But he wasn’t done. After confirming that “it is probable” that we won’t see him fight again for at least another year or two, Iaquinta continued to unload on White.
“The fighters, we need to be heard. It’s our time now,” he said.
“(White’s) gonna say the best part is the ride home. Shut the (expletive) up. Are you kidding me? Go (expletive) yourself. Don’t ever talk about a fighter like that. You are not a fighter. You don’t do it. You don’t know.”