Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) lightweight contender Al Iaquinta has been pulled from the upcoming UFC Fight Night 71 mixed martial arts (MMA) event on FOX Sports 1, scheduled for July 15, 2015 inside Valley View Casino Center is San Diego, California.
You can thank Gilbert Melendez for that.
"El Nino" flunked a recent drug test and was forced to withdraw from his scrap against "Raging Al" (more on that here). With just over a week until fight night, the promotion was unable to find a suitable replacement and scrapped the main card bout altogether.
Iaquinta reacts during the MMA Hour (via MMA Fighting):
"I don't know what I want to do. I want to break something. I want to slam my head on the desk again. I don't know. I'm just disappointed. I can't describe it, man. I was ready to go. It was a perfect fight for me stylistically. I brought in guys who really had a good style and I've been doing great with the sparring, so it's just, I don't know, I'm just frustrated right now, man. I'm real frustrated. I had nothing but respect for him going into this fight. If he's manning up and he's going to take it on the chin that way, I have nothing for respect for him. It's just, I don't know. If you're going to cheat, you're going to get caught, I guess."
Good thing he wasn't staying at a hotel when they broke the news.
Iaquinta (12-3-1) has now won four straight fights and seven of his last eight, good enough to land him at No. 13 in the official rankings (see them here). "Raging Al" plans to make the most of his time off and will address a lingering knee issue that has plagued him in recent fights.
Any potential opponents come to mind for his late 2015 return?