The Raging Al Problem

“Raging” Al Iaquinta is currently ranked 10th in the UFC rankings and he is unhappy with the UFC the last time we’ve checked.  His knockout win over Diego Sanchez in April was a big statement, but what Iaquinta is missing is the fact that winning does more for him than whining does.

Iaquinta is upset at the UFC because of his current pay, the Reebok deal, their lack of health insurance, their fight bonus system, etc.  “Raging Al” is undoubtedly living up to his nickname and while many believed that the two parties were able to mend fences and get on the same page after Iaquinta made his return to action after a two year layoff, that was not the case.

Iaquinta’s knockout win didn’t lead to a performance bonus, which was due to Iaquinta’s current bonus ban stemming from an Instagram post described as a third strike said a UFC official.  The 30-year-old part time fighter part time real estate agent, made it be known that he feels he is the best lightweight in the world, but the UFC does not understand this claim, which is what is standing in the way of Iaquinta getting what he wants.  Hurling insults at the UFC president, Dana White, any opportunity he gets certainly won’t do him any favors.  In fact, Iaquinta stated his firm belief against being a UFC shill as he feels he is above that, but somehow he expects the UFC to cave in to his demands after trashing them publicly because he deserves more money for putting his body on the line.  The problem with this is that if Iaquinta is serious about continuing his successful run as a real estate agent then he should focus on that, but if he feels he is the best lightweight in the world, then he needs to put his money where his mouth is.

While Iaquinta explained his lengthy absence as a result of a serious knee injury that required surgery, which the UFC initially turned down in favor of a stem cell procedure, followed by a lack of agreement between the two parties on a fight contract for UFC 205 last November.  Iaquinta stated that he was unwilling to take the risk of accepting a deal that wouldn’t be worth much if he suffered another serious injury in camp.  The UFC was unwilling to meet his demands and that broke off the fight between Thiago Alves and Iaquinta at Madison Square Garden.

The decision to return to competition worked out wonderfully in terms of results as he knocked Diego Sanchez out in under a minute, but there appears to be another standstill as Iaquinta went on the MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani to further voice his displeasure with the UFC in May.  In “Raging Al’s” wake are multiple fighters he’s had issues with via social media who he came across at the UFC Athlete Summit a couple months ago.

Kevin Lee and Iaquinta have their own Twitter beef stemming from their fight in 2014, which Iaquinta won via unanimous decision.  The two were seen being cordial to each other in a video taken at the summit.  Then there’s welterweight Mike Perry who got into it with “Raging Al” on social media with the two expressing a desire to fight each other in spite of being in separate weight classes.  This was then followed by footage of the two men being cordial to each other and Al even squirting Perry with a water gun.  Now, it’s fair not to expect Iaquinta to go full Nick Diaz and start a brawl at the mere sight of an enemy, but if Iaquinta is going to rage then he should go full rage.

The fight game is not interested in whining, but rather some heated back-and-forth that leads to the eventual showdown inside of the octagon.  Iaquinta has not been practicing the latter and that only hurts his cause.  If he wants to the world to recognize him as the best real estate agent, he needs to sell houses, which he’s been claiming to be doing, but none of that matters to fight fans.  What matters is if and when he decides to put himself on the line and either prove himself right or eat his words.

The sob story turned tirade has gotten old and the fact that Iaquinta has yet to even reach the upper echelon of the lightweight division makes him that much more unappealing to fight fans.  Hopefully Iaquinta accepts a fight soon with the intentions of stealing the spotlight away from the others.  This does not include competitors who are not even in his division.  Now is the time to make noise inside of the octagon rather than outside of it.

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