Though the UFC sold for $4.2 billion in 2016 to current owners WME-IMG, and while some fighters such as Conor McGregor and Ronda Rousey have been able to clear upwards of $3 million dollars for a fight, many of the promotion’s athletes have yet to see those kinds of returns for their own careers.
One fighter in particular who has been vocal about his displeasure with the UFC pay scale is No. 11 ranked lightweight “Ragin’” Al Iaquinta.
After disputes over pay helped contribute to Iaquinta’s two-year layoff starting in 2015, he returned to fighting with a first-round TKO of Diego Sanchez at UFC Fight Night 108 in April. For his efforts, Iaquinta picked up $57,000, but still was not pleased.
UFC President Dana White recently took to the UFC Unfiltered podcast to address Iaquinta’s displeasure with his payout and the fighter’s seesaw relationship with the promotion.
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“We’re up and down with Ragin’ Al,” said White. “One minute he’s great and the next minute he’s raging again. I saw him in Dallas, Texas. He was with his dad, couldn’t have been a nicer kid.
“(We were) totally cool and then look on social media… and he’s back!”
White acknowledges that the relationship with Iaquinta is one of the more unique situations that he deals with as UFC president.
“It’s been a very weird situation,” White said.
“Social media Al is a maniac.”
While dealing with Iaquinta can be confusing at times, dealing with the many personalities and demands of the UFC’s contracted talent is something White has grown accustomed to during his tenure as company president.
“What a lot of people don’t realize, what we deal with Ragin’ Al, we pretty much deal with most of the fighters,” said White. “When you look at how many people are under contract, a few are public and most are not. The same stuff is going on behind the scenes daily with different people. It’s all part of the gig, man.”
Having had more than two years off between his most recent bound and his last one, Iaquinta may have a quicker turnaround this time, as White alluded to adding Iaquinta to UFC on Fox 25 in Long Island, N.Y. on July 22. So it seems Iaquinta may be ragin’ once again sooner than later.
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