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Al Iaquinta: UFC co-owner Ari Emmanuel ‘will never be one of us’

Al Iaquinta talks about the UFC Athletes Retreat, which for him was a relatively forgettable experience.

UFC 183: Lauzon v Iaquinta Photo by Steve Marcus/Getty Images

UFC lightweight fighter Al Iaquinta had major qualms about the UFC Athlete Retreat. Essentially, Ragin’ Al never understood the logic in putting on such an event, and having music superstars such as Snoop Dogg as guest performers.

Iaquinta ended up leaving the summit, but he did get a chance to interact with new UFC owner Ari Emmanuel. His experience rubbing elbows with the boss was not so pleasant as well.

“I think (UFC co-owner) Ari Emanuel, he was trying to be one of us, but he’ll never be one of us,” Iaquinta told MMA Junkie. “He was walking around trying to hang out with everybody, which was cool to see that, but he’s just not one of us. It’s not going to happen.”

The Serra-Longo fighter has been at odds with the UFC for years now, which resulted to him bailing from his UFC 205 commitment and ultimately taking a two-year break from fighting overall. And even after a convincing win in his return fight against Diego Sanchez in Nashville last April, Iaquinta continues to be in complete discontent with his current situation in the company, particularly in terms of his salary.

What insulted him further during the retreat was the talk given by former star athletes Kobe Bryant and Michael Strahan about investments and handling finances.

“It was a weird atmosphere, having all these fighters and these guys like Kobe Bryant and Michael Strahan talking to everybody about investments and stuff like that. We’re not making anywhere near the money they’re making, so anything they were saying went right over everyone’s head.”

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