UFC lightweight contender Al Iaquinta got the biggest break of his career at UFC 223 when the stepped in last minute to fight Khabib Nurmagomedov for the undisputed lightweight title. “Ragin’ Al” lost via unanimous decision, but he did take home a big paycheck for the fight, along with a new deal he signed in March, which he claims he has gotten a “little bit of a pay bump” from.
The 31-year-old Serra-Longo fighter was being matched up with number seven-ranked 155-pounder Justin Gaethje. It is a fight that UFC president Dana White fancies but is not counting on to happen, pinning most of the blame on Iaquinta.
“Yeah that’s a fun fight, but it isn’t going to happen. Iaquinta is absolutely 100-percent out of that fight,” White said during Tuesday’s episode of the UFC Unfiltered podcast (transcript via MMANYTT).
According to White, Iaquinta is already looking to top the deal that he signed in March before agreeing to the Gaethje fight.
“He believes that, I’m pretty sure we just did a new deal with Al Iaquinta and he just got a good payday against Khabib and he feels like, he has a deal, let me reiterate he has a deal,” White said. “He feels like if he moves up and fights guys higher ranked than him that he should be paid a lot more money. He feels that if he fights guys that a lower ranked than him, then he should make a lot less money.”
Iaquinta has been vocal about feeling inadequately compensated over the past couple of years. Outside of fighting, he is also a licensed real estate agent in his hometown of Long Island in New York.