Over the past year or two, Al Iaquinta’s relationship with the UFC has been severely rocky, mostly due to contractual disputes.
In the latest drama between Iaquinta and his employer, the New Yorker had withdrawn from what was supposed to be a major fight with Justin Gaethje in the main event this Saturday night at UFC Lincoln, but was replaced by fellow lightweight contender James Vick instead.
Iaquinta expressed the reason for his withdrawl, was because of what he felt was the wrong timing for him.
In an interview with MMA Fighting earlier this week, Iaquinta spoke into further detail about his decision back out of his scheduled bout with Gaethje.
“Basically, in the time that I would have trained for that fight, I made as much money selling real estate,” Iaquinta said. “So, it’s not a money thing. I enjoyed my summer. I wasn’t going to bed injured every night, I wasn’t waking up with a sore neck. I didn’t have to worry about Justin Gaethje’s crazy ass. I’m doing what I want to do. If they made it worth it for me, I would have. I’m making my show money in that amount of time when these deals close out. It’s crazy that a real estate agent on Long Island can make their show money for headlining a five-round fight against a top-six, top-seven guy in the world.”
He then continued by stating that he also felt the UFC never had he nor Gaethje’s best interest in mind when they decided to put the fight together in the first place.
“I was almost like, you’re not looking out for me and you’re not looking out for Gaethje,” Iaquinta said. “The guy just got pummelled his last three fights. You’re not looking out for him, you don’t care about me, because you didn’t even ask me how I’m feeling. They called me that night of the fight and a couple weeks later they offered me another fight.”
Though Iaquinta feels his decision not to fight Gaethje was the right the one, he does however, still have interest in fighting in the UFC, only it’ll have to be the appropriate fight, under the appropriate conditions, in order for him to do it.
“I’ve wanted to fight forever, but it’s not gonna be at my expense,” Iaquinta explained. “It’s gonna have to be an asset for me to fight.”
All in all, regardless of the situation, Iaquinta says he’s gave up on the UFC getting behind him.
“I’m training, I’m having fun in the gym,” Iaquinta said. “I’m training when I want to train. I’m getting better when I want to get better. I don’t have to do anything. Am I missing out on opportunities? Maybe. It’s too much stress. I’m having fun with my life now. I’ve given up on the UFC getting behind me. So I’m just getting behind myself.”