Al Iaquinta may not be the coolest head in any given room. Long Island’s native son won his co-main event against veteran Diego Sanchez with a sublime knockout (see it here), and immediately adopted a hostile attitude towards his employers. From my fight recap:
In the post-fight interview, Al Iaquinta called out the UFC directly, and said the sooner they realize he is the man, the better off they both will be. The crowd, unsure of what to make of this, began to boo a little. Iaquinta, famous for cursing out booing crowds, chuckled. “Okay, yeah. Boo me. Yeah.” He credited his team at Serra-Longo for his striking prowess, and concluded with a plug for his real estate agent services. “If you need a real-estate agent, hit me up!”
This combative attitude stems from a contract dispute- Iaquinta feels (perhaps rightly) that the UFC are not paying him enough, after the Reebok deal cost him outside sponsors. When former UFC matchmaker Joe Silva told his manager “fuck him”, Iaquinta put his athletic career aside completely, including the chance to fight at Madison Square Garden, and worked as a real estate agent on Long Island for two years. His long-awaited return last night went as smoothly as it could have gone. Now on a five-fight win streak, Iaquinta thought his emphatic finish of legend Diego Sanchez deserved a bonus. The UFC thought not, awarding those coveted few bonuses to Mike Perry and Brandon Moreno.
While it may seem insane for a top ten professional athlete on a five-fight win streak, potentially even in the title picture with another win, Iaquinta says he makes as much or more money selling houses than he does fighting. Via MMAFighting.com:
“I love fighting, but I’m not gonna ruin my body,” Iaquinta said. “This is no game, man. This is for real. [Getting paid $26,000 and $26,000] is not a lot of money. For doing what I’m doing, for being on TV, for me driving the car I’m driving, I gotta be living a lot better than this. I could be doing anything in the world and making the same kind of money. And I don’t have the risk of getting hurt. I don't need to fight now. I have my real-estate career. I’m set with that. So, if I want to fight, I’ll fight.”
That’s right. If the UFC aren’t willing to pay him more than peanuts, Iaquinta isn’t willing to risk his body, even to fight on the upcoming card on Long Island:
“That would be something I’d really love to do,” Iaquinta said. “But I’m not gonna do it for the contract I have now. Probably not. Definitely not for a top opponent. These guys are dangerous. I’m not going in there to get paid what I’m getting paid to get hurt. The chance of an injury, if I’m out for two years, where am I gonna get any money? I got no sponsors. There’s nothing. These last few years have been a wakeup call for me.”
Maybe he’ll do it for the chance to advertise his real estate services after the fight.
Breaking Records or Taking Losses
Cub Swanson set more than one record in his action-packed fight (see the highlights) with Artem Lobov last night.
Official: Cub Swanson's 209 significant strikes landed are a new single-fight UFC/WEC featherweight record. #UFCNashville— Michael Carroll (@MJCflipdascript) April 23, 2017
Impressive from Swanson, who is now riding a four-fight win streak, three of those against ranked (at the time) competition.
Artem Lobov also deserves congratulations. While outmatched by Swanson’s dynamism and athleticism, he showed real improvement and amazing toughness, eating the best Swanson could dish out and giving it right back to him. Perhaps it was the sparring with Conor McGregor all these years that paid off for him.
Diego Sanchez is so classy in defeat:
Congrats @ALIAQUINTA straight right from hell good job! I'm ok wanted to congratulate you but they said I had to go get a cat scan— Diego Sanchez UFC (@DiegoSanchezUFC) April 23, 2017
There is no doubt Sanchez should be in the Hall of Fame. He’s truly insane.
Here’s that crazy head kick to rear naked choke sequence that got Moreno his bonus:
Don't need muscles to be great. Just look at me, pic.twitter.com/YdmcoFeCS8— TYSON2FASTFURY (@Tyson_Fury) April 22, 2017
Invicta champion Megan Anderson is not happy with the UFC commentary:
Boxer Adrien Broner getting arrested:
Body cam of Adrien Broner arrest pic.twitter.com/ZDU780Sxds— EditinKing Boxing (@EditinKing) April 21, 2017
In Other Worlds
The UFC is not the only combat sports event happening this weekend:
Avtandil Khurtsidze KO's Tommy Langford in R5 pic.twitter.com/95Q0mu1MFH— Streetfight Bancho (@streetfitebanch) April 22, 2017
If you missed it, Takeru vs. Saravia was entertaining as fuck. pic.twitter.com/OqaNmYtE5D— caposa (@Grabaka_Hitman) April 22, 2017
Women’s 61,5kg Tournament – Semifinal A— Jolassanda (@Jolassanda) April 23, 2017
Wang Kehan (China) def. Juliana Werner (Brazil) by 2R TKO HL pic.twitter.com/0ATYR0RsAt
Batman taught me theatricality is an important aspect to combat:
Hideto Okada's entrance at Shooto pic.twitter.com/GdVszAKoEl— Streetfight Bancho (@streetfitebanch) April 23, 2017
Okay, maybe not that kind of theatricality.
Watch until the replay:
Head kick KO by Movsar Evloev (M-1 Challenge 76) pic.twitter.com/T2p9urZO5Q— Jolassanda (@Jolassanda) April 22, 2017
Enjoy your Sunday, Maniacs!
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