Al Iaquinta remains one of the more talented contenders in the UFC’s stacked lightweight division, but the 30-year-old just can’t seem to stay active.
Whether due to injury or disagreements with the promotion, Iaquinta has only managed to fight once in nearly three years. That’s an incredible drought considering the budding lightweight contender possesses a five-fight win streak.
While Iaquinta is looking to get back into action as soon as possible and put his growing real estate career on hold, he’ll only do so if UFC opens up its wallet and delivers a legitimate payday.
“Guys are getting paid to fight scrubs,” Iaquinta told MMAjunkie Radio earlier this week. “I’m just trying to get paid frickin’ something to live on for these guys that are f*cking everyone up.”
If Iaquinta and the promotion can come to terms then “Raging” may find himself in a battle with fellow lightweight finisher Paul Felder. The two veterans were scheduled to fight at UFC 218 last month in Detroit, Mich., but Iaquinta was forced to pull out due to injury.
“They were trying to get me to fight (Paul) Felder again, but I told them what I wanted to fight him, and it wasn’t unreasonable, but I haven’t heard back from them,” Iaquinta explained. “The ball’s in their court right now.”
The outspoken New York native further detailed his disgust for UFC’s unwillingness to pay him what he believes he’s worth.
“There’s a lot of guys in the UFC that are getting paid way more than what I asked for, and they don’t even have a number next to their name, and they haven’t knocked anyone out,” Iaquinta said. “What I asked for is not unreasonable, and it’s in their court now. I don’t know what they’re going to do, but I don’t think they like me. I think they’re probably just going to let me (sit out and not fight).”
While Iaquinta didn’t reveal the specific number he threw UFC’s way, it’s likely higher than that of divisional staple Edson Barboza, who was recently beaten to a bloody pulp at the hands of top lightweight title threat Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 219.
“That’s like, life-changing sh*t right there,” Iaquinta said of Barboza’s lopsided decision loss to Khabib. “That f*cks with your mind, and his face is never going to look the same. And $75,000 is barely worth it.”
Hopefully Iaquinta is able to step foot inside of the Octagon in 2018. After all, “Raging” has amassed a 8-2 promotional record since 2012, holds key victories over top UFC contenders Kevin Lee and Jorge Masvidal, and is seemingly getting better with age.