Al Iaquinta made a strong statement on Saturday night with an impressive win in his rematch over Kevin Lee at UFC on FOX 31. “Raging Al” and his time are now riding on a confidence high, as they plan out their next move in terms of opponents.
Iaquinta says he wants to fight Tony Ferguson down the line. His coach Ray Longo, meanwhile, is looking at a possible matchup against the biggest money fight in the UFC today.
“I’d really like to see him fight Conor next,” Longo told Luke Thomas on Monday’s episode of the MMA Hour (via MMA Fighting). “I don’t think Conor deserves the Khabib rematch at all. It looks like they’re going to give Ferguson Khabib, which is 100 percent fair. That makes fair sense, not everything is fair sense, it’s money sense.
“But I’d like to see Al get a big money fight against a great guy who can bring a lot of eyeballs to pay-per-view. I think that would be great. I think Al deserves it and I think that’s a great matchup. I’d love to see it and I’d love to be a part of it.”
As for a fight with Ferguson, Longo recognizes that “El Cucuy” is due for his shot against Khabib Nurmagomedov, a fight that has been made and scrapped for a total of four times now.
“Ferguson is unbelievable, so that’s a great challenge for Al, but I think Ferguson does deserve the fight with Khabib. I’m just going based on that,” he said.
“Al’s going to take any fight, I think he deserves a big fight for sure either way it goes. I think Ferguson, the Khabib fight is the way to go because Ferguson, what else can that guy do in the division? I think it’s only fair to give him the title fight. But if it has to be Al for some reason then that’s fine, that’s great.”
Khabib was recently granted continuance in his ongoing case with the Nevada Athletic Commission for the UFC 229 post-fight brawl in October. He won’t be receiving any sanctions and will remain suspended until the Commission’s next meeting scheduled for January 29th.