We may have already seen Al Iaquinta compete inside the Octagon for the last time.
The No. 13-ranked lightweight fighter last stepped into the cage at UFC Fight Night 63 last April, but has since been sidelined due to injury and a public contract dispute with the UFC.
Displeased with the amount of money he’d be making in the aftermath of the UFC’s deal with Reebok, Iaquinta says he’s retired.
— Al Iaquinta (@ALIAQUINTA) October 12, 2016
The New York native was briefly eyed for a slot on the UFC 205 card at Madison Square Garden, but was since pulled after he decided he wouldn’t fight given his contract situation.
“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 on The MMA Hour (transcription via MMA Fighting). “‘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.’
“If I win the fight and they take taxes out and I pay my trainers, I make okay money. Okay. For fighting in a cage, I don’t know about it. God forbid, I don’t win the fight, (after) taxes, trainers, all the expenses, everything that goes into a training camp, I’m basically fighting at Madison Square Garden for free. It’s just unreasonable. So I asked him to reach out to the UFC, and from what he tells me there was no consideration of a negotiation whatsoever.”