Iaquinta Explains UFC Lincoln Pull Out
Al Iaquinta was set to be in the main event of this weekend’s UFC Fight Night 135 in Lincoln, Nebraska, but then the Long Island native decided to rest his shoulder.
In an interview with MMA Fighting “Ragin’ Al” decided to just sell real estate this summer and make his money that way.
“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 a**. 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.”
Iaquinta last stepped into the Octagon in April at the ill-fated UFC 223, where he would step in with a day’s notice to fight Khabib Nurmagomedov for the vacant lightweight title. The real estate agent/MMA star has had a contentious relationship with the UFC, especially due to his alignment with a unionization effort named Project Spearhead, those issues allowed Iaquinta to drop the fight without an ounce of guilt.
Iaquinta, who lost in a short notice title fight to Khabib Nurmagomedov earlier this year, has had a turbulent relationship with the UFC in the past and feels he’s not compensated enough for his efforts. That’s why the former title challenger had no problem saying ‘f-ck this’ over a scheduled main event slot with Gaethje.
“The rest of the fighters, they all would have taken the fight, you know what I mean?” he said. “They all would have taken it and they would have had to push through the injury. I was like, you know what? F**k this. I’m gonna make just as much money walking around, meeting people selling real estate. I’m making great connections with people like me — my kind of people. It’s a beautiful thing.”
“I’m training, I’m having fun in the gym…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.”
Initial Report: MMA Fighting