Despite his impressive KO against Diego Sanchez, Al Iaquinta is not sure if he wants to continue fighting.
Al Iaquinta may have been on the sidelines for the past two years, but the Serra-Longo product showed no signs of ring rust against Diego Sanchez at UFC Fight Night 108, knocking out the wily veteran in the first round.
The 29-year-old talent had contractual issues with the UFC during his two-year hiatus and still feels he isn’t being paid enough.
Iaquinta, who earns $26,000 to show and $26,000 to win in his current contract, is not sure if he wants to return to the UFC for what he feels is such a low paycheck — especially if he can earn more in his real-estate career.
“I don’t know if it’s worth it,” Iaquinta said in a post-fight media scrum, per MMA Fighting’s Shaun Al-Shatti. “I don’t know if the money is worth everything I go through to do this. It worked out tonight, but it’s not gonna be that easy. So I don’t know. I’ve gotta think if it’s worth it. I’ve got a lot of injuries. It’s a lot of years lost that I’m not making any money. And now I’m not making sponsorships. I’m in the video game and I haven’t gotten a dollar from it and I don’t even have an Xbox and they haven’t even sent me a video game.”
Despite his prolonged absence, ‘Raging Al’ was still ranked as a top-15 contender in the UFC’s shark tank of a lightweight division and is likely to catapult to the top ten with his methodical knockout of Sanchez in Nashville.
Iaquinta, who could be one of the UFC’s brightest prospects, is on a five-fight win streak with four TKO’s, but doesn’t want to potentially ruin his body in the long term.
“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.”
The New York-based fighter was also furious with the UFC’s decision to not pay him a knockout of the night bonus, telling the premiere promotion to ‘go f*ck’ itself on social media.
Hey @ufc go fuck yourself
— Al Iaquinta (@ALIAQUINTA) April 23, 2017
Despite his anger, Iaquinta is happy with his real-estate career and was glad to get his fight fix at UFC Fight Night 108.
“I really enjoy selling the real estate,” he said. “I got my fix for fighting for now. I’m good for now. I haven’t thought about it. I just thought about tonight. I just wanted to get in there and have fun and that’s exactly what I did.”
Iaquinta is one of the division’s most promising prospects and holds wins over the likes of Ross Pearson, Joe Lauzon, Jorge Masvidal, and now, Diego Sanchez.