Al Iaquinta is one of the biggest critics of the UFC, and of the way promotion treats its fighters. His status as such is particularly interesting, as he currently under contract with the organization as a member of its lightweight roster.
As a member of the UFC roster, Iaquinta was invited to the UFC’s recent Athletes Retreat in Las Vegas Nevada, and despite his gripes with the promotion, he attended. He did not, however, stay for long. After learning that the promotion had partnered with New York’s Hospital for Special Surgery – the very hospital he asked the UFC to send him to for knee surgery, and the very hospital they refused to send him to for that knee surgery – he decided it was better to leave.
He explained his reaction to the news of the UFC’s partnership with this hospital on Monday’s edition of The MMA Hour (via MMAFighting.com):
“I look around,” Iaquinta said. “I’m like, are you f*cking kidding me? I made that whole thing happen. I’m the one who put [the hospital] in touch with the UFC.”
“I felt uncomfortable being there. Anxiety, man. In my head, I was losing my mind. I had to go.”
Iaquinta then explained that he wasn’t swayed by the many perks of the retreat – such as a concert by rapper Snoop Dogg.
“F*cking pay me,” he said “I don’t give a f*ck about Snoop Dogg. Pay me. I’m hurt, I’m tired. F*ck you. F*ck you, how about that?”
“I never should have gone,” he continued. “I agreed to come thinking by the time I came things would be re-done. I’d have a new deal. I’d have something.”
“No one freaking gets it. I’m the guy, I’m the man. I put in the work. I’m the guy. I’m the f*cking man. Dana White doesn’t get it. Sean Shelby is starting to get it. … They don’t get it yet.”
Finally, Iaquinta then explained that, with his beef with the UFC still sizzling, he’ll continue to focus on his successful real estate career until things improve.
“I think that’s what I’m leaning towards,” he said. “I’m f*cking killing it man. It’s alright, I like it.”
What do you make of Al Iaquinta’s gripes with the UFC?
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 5/22/2017.