So, another week, another UFC event where fighters put it all on the line for a chance at glory. Cub Swanson and Artem Lobov had a pretty entertaining scrap in which ‘The Russian Hammer’ showed that he’s perhaps more talented than we first gave him credit for. Lobov by no means is a world beater, but the fact that he was competitive with Cub Swanson shows that he does indeed have some talent. With so many different fights on the card it’s hard to pick one out of the bunch to highlight. But for me, one fighter comes to mind more than anyone else and that’s Al Iaquinta.
The Strong Island native (that’s right, I said it) proved once again why he should be considered a hot commodity in the UFC. The guy is young, talented, and sharp when it comes to his striking ability. With a two year lay off, people were thinking that Al Iaquinta may not have had that pop anymore, that the sport was leaving him in the rear view. He shut up those critics pretty emphatically with his knockout victory over veteran Diego Sanchez. The interesting part about the win for ‘Raging’ Al however was the fact that he didn’t truly have a chance to enjoy the fruits of his labor.
While I still believe that the UFC is the biggest, brightest, and most talent rich promotion in the world, it’s becoming obvious that fighters are getting more and more disgruntled. When you consider the fact that Iaquinta received $26,000 to show and another $26,000 to win, it’s easy to see why the talented lightweight would consider walking away from the sport. He could easily find himself up there with some of the best of the best in the lightweight division and the fact that he’s getting underpaid to knockout fighters that are getting paid more than him is a major issue that the promotion needs to solve.
Make no mistake, Al Iaquinta could easily become a star in the UFC. He could have New York on his back much in the same vain his stablemate Chris Weidman has been doing for years now. But if the UFC is content to let their high level talent seek other employment because they won’t show them the money, then you can bet your ass that Al Iaquinta will be taking his real estate career pretty damn seriously moving forward.
Do you think the UFC is making a mistake not paying Al Iaquinta the big bucks?
Jonathan Salmon is a writer, martial arts instructor, and geek culture enthusiast. Check out his Twitter and Facebook to keep up with his antics.
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