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Al Iaquinta slams UFC matchmaker Joe Silva: Who are you to put a price tag on my life?


Al Iaquinta’s dream of fighting at Madison Square Garden has temporarily been dashed after a contract dispute with Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) forced him out of his scheduled fight against Thiago Alves, which was supposed to go down at UFC 205 on Nov. 12, 2016 in New York.

Full details here.

The bulk of the dispute was the fact that the much-criticized Reebok deal hindered his chances at getting the extra money that often came through sponsorship opportunities. And since UFC refused to renegotiate his contract, Al — who is now a real estate agent in New York — says taking the fight was something he couldn’t do.

The whole process has been rather trying for Iaquinta, who declared on a recent edition of The MMA Hour (via MMA Fighting) that the ordeal -- including UFC matchmaker Joe Silva’s attitude -- has left him disillusioned with the MMA promotion.

"That just changed my outlook on everything. God forbid, I take this fight, $26,000, I win, I lose, whatever happens. Say I get hurt somehow, I got nothing. I'd have to take off time from my clients, I'd have to take off time with the real estate that I'm learning. I kind of got myself in a groove. To stop that, to take a fight where I could be risking everything, it's just not worth it for the amount of money that they're going to pay me. It would be great to say that I fought at Madison Square Garden, but after awhile, you're just saying that. There's nothing to show for it. And that's basically why I took the stance that I took, and it's a tough one because there's nothing I'd love to do more than fight at Madison Square Garden. But I feel like, to not even have a negotiation, and the things I heard (UFC matchmaker) Joe Silva say to my manager about me when he asked just to negotiate, ‘eff him, eff this' -- who is he to put a price tag on what my life is worth, on what my knee is worth? I've had two knee surgeries already. I may have to have to have another one after nine more fights."

Still, Al won’t deny the fact that UFC paid for his most recent knee surgery. That said, he’s disappointed that his "big contract" never came after shedding blood, sweat and tears for the company.

At the end of the day, Iaquinta says he won’t dwell on his current rift with the promotion, and if he can’t renegotiate a new deal, he will happily move on with his life.

"I'm not even really thinking about that. I just don't even care anymore. When they weren't going to pay for my surgery, I thought my career was over, so I made terms with that at that time. So I'm like a guy, I just really don't even care. I could take it or leave it. It is what it is. I would love to fight at Madison Square Garden. It doesn't seem like they have any want to negotiate at all, so I'm not going to sit and cry about it. I'm going to move on with my life. If there is a negotiation, that's great, we can talk about it. But I'm not banking on that, by no means."

Al’s disagreement with UFC is just the latest of a string of issues current fighters have had with the promotion, though some, apparently, have settled their differences peacefully.

Iaquinta is currently riding a four-fight win streak including wins over Ross Pearson and Joe Lauzon with his last win coming against Jorge Masvidal in April of 2015.

Perhaps Iaquinta and Co. will revisit with the promotion once Silva leaves town.

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