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The relationship between Al Iaquinta
and the
Ultimate Fighting Championship
seems to get worse by the day
and now it might be close to breaking point after the New York
native pulled out of his most recent fight with Justin
Gaethje
at UFC Lincoln.

Iaquinta revealed that an injury to his shoulder was the primary
reason he withdrew from the fight but said his real estate business
is doing well enough that he’s getting the same pay that he would
if he were fighting Gaethje (via MMAFighting.com).

“Basically, in the time that I would have trained for that fight, I
made as much money selling real estate,” Iaquinta said. “So, it’s
not a money thing. I enjoyed my summer. I wasn’t going to bed
injured every night, I wasn’t waking up with a sore neck. I didn’t
have to worry about Justin
Gaethje
’s crazy ass. I’m doing what I want to do. If they made
it worth it for me, I would have. I’m making my show money in that
amount of time when these deals close out. It’s crazy that a real
estate agent on Long Island can make their show money for
headlining a five-round fight against a top-six, top-seven guy in
the world.”

“Ragin’ Al” said he feels like the UFC rushed Gaethje and himself
to fight each other considering the shoulder injury he had just
suffered against Khabib
Nurmagomedov
in April and the fact that Gaethje is coming off
two straight knockout losses.

“I was almost like, you’re not looking out for me and you’re not
looking out for Gaethje,” Iaquinta said. “The guy just got pummeled
his last three fights. You’re not looking out for him, you don’t
care about me, because you didn’t even ask me how I’m feeling. They
called me that night of the fight and a couple weeks later they
offered me another fight.”

Iaquinta believes he is fortunate that he has his real estate
business to fall back on because he thinks other fighters in his
situation would have had to take the fight with an injury as they
need the money.

“The rest of the fighters, they all would have taken the fight, you
know what I mean?” he said. “They all would have taken it and they
would have had to push through the injury. I was like, you know
what? F*ck this. I’m gonna make just as much money walking around,
meeting people selling real estate. I’m making great connections
with people like me — my kind of people. It’s a beautiful
thing.

“So, my friends are buying houses,” Iaquinta continued. “It’s just
so much better. I had such a great time. The last two months of my
life were just so much better. So much more stress free. And I made
just as much money. Could I have fought Gaethje and got something?
It really doesn’t matter. Shots come and go. It’s not even about
winning and losing. I don’t know. The more I think about it, the
more frustrated I get.”

Back in April, Iaquinta was initially scheduled to fight Paul Felder,
but after a freak injury to Tony
Ferguson
and a failed weight cut by stand-in Max
Holloway
, he was the last man standing and UFC offered him the
fight against Nurmagomedov on just a day’s notice. Financially it
was a good move for Iaquinta, as he claims the UFC paid him
$250,000 for the fight, but he believes he would have received more
under the previous ownership led by the Fertitta brothers.

“I earned every penny I got and I’m not complaining about it,”
Iaquinta said. “But … I think back a couple years ago it would have
been a lot more.”

Without the financial pressure to fight, Iaquinta said he’ll only
fight when he feels like he wants too and pencilled in a bout later
in the year against either Ferguson, Anthony
Pettis
or Kevin Lee.

“I’ve wanted to fight forever, but it’s not gonna be at my
expense,” Iaquinta said. “It’s gonna have to be an asset for me to
fight.

“I’m training, I’m having fun in the gym,” he continued. “I’m
training when I want to train. I’m getting better when I want to
get better. I don’t have to do anything. Am I missing out on
opportunities? Maybe. It’s too much stress. I’m having fun with my
life now. I’ve given up on the UFC getting behind me. So I’m just
getting behind myself.”


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