Al Iaquinta has given up on the UFC ever getting behind him even more than ever.
“Ragin” was initially expected to be facing Justin Gaethje in the main event of this weekend’s (Sat. August 25, 2018) UFC Lincoln card. The Long Islander was forced off the card and will instead be enjoying the view of the beach, which is 10 minutes away from his house.
In an interview with MMA Fighting, Iaquinta revealed that the money he makes selling houses as a real estate agent is comparable to that of his show money in the UFC:
“Basically, in the time that I would have trained for that fight, I made as much money selling real estate,” Iaquinta said.
“So, it’s not a money thing. I enjoyed my summer, I wasn’t going to bed injured every night, I wasn’t waking up with a sore neck.
“I didn’t have to worry about Justin Gaethje’s crazy ass. I’m doing what I want to do. If they made it worth it for me, I would have. I’m making my show money in that amount of time when these deals close out.
“It’s crazy that a real estate agent on Long Island can make their show money for headlining a five-round fight against a top-six, top-seven guy in the world.”
Iaquinta said he injured his shoulder at UFC 223 fighting Khabib Nurmagomedov. Although it was an unsuccessful bid for the vacant UFC lightweight title, the 31-year-old showed a ton of heart and determination against the undefeated Russian grappler.
Upon getting the call to fight Gaethje, Iaquinta said he felt rushed by the UFC to get back into the Octagon . He also said he thought maybe the UFC was not looking out for Gaethje’s best interest either because he’s coming off back-to-back knockout losses:
“I was almost like, you’re not looking out for me and you’re not looking out for Gaethje,” Iaquinta said. “The guy just got pummeled his last three fights.
“You’re not looking out for him, you don’t care about me, because you didn’t even ask me how I’m feeling. They called me that night of the fight and a couple weeks later they offered me another fight. The rest of the fighters, they all would have taken the fight, you know what I mean? They all would have taken it and they would have had to push through the injury. I was like, you know what? F*ck this.
“I’m gonna make just as much money walking around, meeting people selling real estate. I’m making great connections with people like me — my kind of people. It’s a beautiful thing. So, my friends are buying houses. It’s just so much better. I had such a great time. The last two months of my life were just so much better. So much more stress free. And I made just as much money.
“Could I have fought Gaethje and got something? It really doesn’t matter. Shots come and go. It’s not even about winning and losing. I don’t know. The more I think about it, the more frustrated I get.”
Right now, Iaquinta therefore is able to live his life at his pace. He’s training when he wants, improving when he wants and making great money due to it. At this point, he has given up on the UFC getting behind him – so he’s getting behind himself above all:
“I’m training, I’m having fun in the gym,” Iaquinta said. “I’m training when I want to train, I’m getting better when I want to get better. I don’t have to do anything.
“Am I missing out on opportunities? Maybe. It’s too much stress. I’m having fun with my life now. I’ve given up on the UFC getting behind me. So I’m just getting behind myself.”