This past weekend in Nashville, Tennessee, UFC lightweight Al Iaquinta returned to the Octagon after nearly a 2-year hiatus from the Octagon.
In 2015, Iaquinta quickly climbed the UFC lightweight rankings, as he went on an impressive 4-fight win streak. Iaquinta was fresh off a submission loss to Mitch Clarke in 2014, when he picked up an impressive TKO win over Rodrigo Damm just four months later. ‘Ragin’ Al built on the momentum when he TKOd Ross Pearson in Sydney, Australia to end 2014 on a 2-fight win streak. In 2015, Iaquinta continued his momentum as he defeated UFC veteran Joe Lauzon via TKO. Iaquinta then stepped into the Octagon with Jorge Masvidal for what turned out to be one of the most controversial decisions in UFC history.
After badly losing the first round, Iaquinta managed to put together some momentum in the remaining two rounds, however Jorge Masvidal continued to win rounds on the scorecards of many fans. When the judges scorecards were read however, Iaquinta was awarded the split decision, resulting in fans booing him.
Iaquinta then took 2 years away from the Octagon due to a very public dispute with the UFC, which saw him retire at one point, informing fight fans that he was pursuing real estate full time.
Al Iaquinta then reached an agreement with the UFC, and returned to the Octagon this past weekend against Diego Sanchez, where he picked up a spectacular KO win to mark his successful return to the Octagon.
With that being said, the mood of celebration quickly shifted as Iaquinta became furious with the UFC for not giving him a post-fight bonus. ‘Raging’ Al took to Twitter to rip the UFC, even going as far as to question his future with the promotion.
Former Pride FC boss Nobuyuki Sakakibara’s new promotion, Rizin FF, Tweeted Iaquinta regarding his frustration with being booed by fans following his most recent two wins.
Dear @ALIAQUINTA ,
Japan would never boo you.
— RIZIN FF (@RIZINFF) April 24, 2017
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 4/25/2017.