Al Iaquinta revealed on Monday that he withdrew from his UFC 205 bout against Thiago Alves due to an unworthy contract and failed negotiations with the UFC.
In an appearance on the latest addition of The MMA Hour, Iaquinta discussed the issues with his current deal and explained how it was too much of a risk for him to fight in case he suffered another injury.
“There's a lot things that have changed since I signed the contract, and for me to go in there and risk my health, risk everything that you risk when you go into a cage fight, I just said, ‘look, I can't do it,'" Iaquinta said. "'We've got to ask for more money. Maybe we can negotiate something.' My manager told me there's probably not a good chance of that happening, so I said, ‘you know what, I can't do it. Financially, I can't fight for this purse.’”
The 29-year old hasn’t fought since last year, before the Reebok deal went into effect. Following his split-decision win over Jorge Masvidal in April 2015, he was expected to fight at UFN 71 but both his original and replacement opponents pulled out of the bout, leaving him without a fight and without pay. He then opted to undergo treatment for a knee injury he had been dealing with since his appearance on The Ultimate Fighter in 2012. He is currently on a four-fight win streak and has only suffered one loss since 2013.
Iaquinta, a native of New York, was originally excited about fighting in his home state in the UFC’s first event at Madison Square Garden but decided that the pay wasn’t worth it, especially considering the injuries he had suffered in the past due to fighting.
"It would be great to say that I fought at Madison Square Garden, but after a while, you're just saying that. There's nothing to show for it. And that's basically why I took the stance that I took, and it's a tough one because there's nothing I'd love to do more than fight at Madison Square Garden. But I feel like, to not even have a negotiation, and the things I heard (UFC matchmaker) Joe Silva say to my manager about me when he asked just to negotiate, ‘eff him, eff this' -- who is he to put a price tag on what my life is worth, on what my knee is worth? I've had two knee surgeries already. I may have to have to have another one after nine more fights.”
As a result, Iaquinta is considering the option of leaving the sport for good and venturing into real estate to make a living. He has competed a total of nine times for the promotion in addition to his four fights on The Ultimate Fighter.