Al Iaquinta has had quite the year.
In April, he was preparing for a fight against Paul Felder, and then on just a days notice was headlining the card against Khabib Nurmagomedov for the lightweight belt. Iaquinta ended up going all five rounds with Nurmagomedov and lost the fight by decision. Then, on Saturday, in another main event, Iaquinta defeated Kevin Lee by unanimous decision. That win should put Iaquinta into the top-five in the rankings.
With the win, Iaquinta is a legitimate title contender, and according to his coach, Ray Longo, he would like Iaquinta to fight Conor McGregor next. Iaquinta called out McGregor after the fight, and it is a fight that actually does make sense.
“I’d really like to see him fight Conor next,” Longo said on The MMA Hour. “I don’t think Conor deserves the Khabib rematch at all. It looks like they’re going to give Ferguson Khabib, which is 100 percent fair. That makes fair sense, not everything is fair sense, it’s money sense.
“But I’d like to see Al get a big money fight against a great guy who can bring a lot of eyeballs to pay-per-view. I think that would be great. I think Al deserves it and I think that’s a great matchup. I’d love to see it and I’d love to be a part of it.”
Ultimately, any fight with McGregor will involve some sort of trash-talking. Iaquinta is no stranger to it, and according to Longo, he believes it would be fun for Al and himself. McGregor has already made fun of him for being a real estate agent. Now, the hope is Iaquinta can fight McGregor and show him just how good the real estate agent is at fighting.
“I think I’d rather run for political office than have that guy researching, doing my background checks,” Longo said. “But I don’t think Al gives a s**t. I think it’s all good, I think Conor knows who he can get away with that s**t with and who he can’t, he’s a street kid. I think that will be to no avail and that’s all good stuff.
“It’s entertainment at the end of the day, I don’t take anything personal at this point. Al just wants to fight. It’s almost like what he did with Kevin Lee. Same Al. That’s what you want to say? Now’s your time to do it. It’s put up or shut up.”
The fight makes a ton of sense, but for now, can’t be booked until McGregor’s suspension hearing with the NSAC.