Al Iaquinta Blasts UFC, Dana White
Al Iaquinta returned to the cage after a two year hiatus and looked better than ever, knocking out Diego Sanchez in under two minutes. But "Raging Al"’s highly-publicized disgruntlement with the UFC brass was not softened by the victory.
Iaquinta’s time away from the sport was mostly a result of injuries, as he required knee surgery for a lingering issue. He claims that the UFC was very difficult in his discussions with them about helping him pay for the surgery, and later pulled himself from the UFC’s debut at Madison Square Garden because of a contractual dispute.
Speaking on the MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani, Iaquinta said that the UFC not awarding him a bonus for his highlight-reel knockout reignited his frustration with the brass.
“If anything, I hate that even more now,” Iaquinta said. “Just not winning the bonuses, I don’t know. I don’t know whether they didn’t give it to me because I didn’t deserve it, or whether they didn’t give it to me to kind of shaft me, because they said in the past that I wasn’t eligible to win bonuses and maybe they’re just sticking it to me.”
“The whole bonus thing is just ridiculous. The fact that they’re giving $50,000 bonuses, it’s like their little way to control everybody.
“I don’t understand how everyone just thinks that’s normal. Fifty-thousand dollar bonus — a bonus is like a little something extra,” he continued. “Fifty-thousand dollars is like three times some of these guys’ pay. That’s not a bonus. That’s like life-changing stuff. And oh, it looks great. But guess what? That’s their little way to control you."
Iaquinta said that the UFC told him in the past that he would no longer be eligible for post-fight bonuses for his next three fights due to a "three-strike policy" that was seemingly created on the spot. The outspoken New Yorker says that post-fight bonuses are awarded to fighters that go out of their way to look like company men.
“You’ve got to suck up to the man. You suck up to the man, you get on the mic, you thank Joe Silva, ‘thank you guys, you guys are the best, thank you Dana White, thank you Lorenzo Fertitta,’ and those are the guys who get the bonuses. So it’s their little way. Like, ‘kiss my ass and I’ll give you a little scrap.’”
If Iaquinta does not sort things out with the UFC, he said that he will likely stick to his real estate career. But one thing is clear: "Raging Al" is unwilling to bite his tongue anymore. He even threw some shots at UFC President Dana White, who made comments following UFC 208 in February that Iaquinta deemed disrespectful. When the event was poorly received and most fights played out without too many exciting moments, White told reporters that the highlight of his night was his flight home.
“Dana White has done a lot for this sport, but he’s not gotten one injury from this sport,” Iaquinta said. “And for him to say, ‘the best part of UFC Brooklyn was the flight home’ — you’re on a private jet, bro. Shut the f–k up. You’re on a private jet. Most people, that would be the highlight of their life. Forget the night. You’re on a private jet, of course it’s the highlight of your night.”
“Two guys are fighting in a cage, getting hurt. Jim Miller probably couldn’t [walk]. [White] owes an apology to all those motherf—-rs. That’s some bulls–t. Shut your f—-ng mouth.”