After a total of 12 years as a professional fighter – nine of which he spent in the UFC – Al Iaquinta is calling it a career. The 34-year-old lightweight competitor announced his retirement in a recent episode of his podcast, the Call Me Al Show.
“Fighting again? I’m thinking that’s it, man. I’m thinking that’s it,” he said. “That’s the way to go out.
“Obviously, you want to go out on a win, but this shit’s not worth it, dude. You saw Michael Chandler and Justin Gaethje fight. Those guys, they beat the hell out of each other. That wasn’t worth it.”
“Ragin’ Al” last fought at UFC 268 against Bobby Green where he lost via first-round TKO. It was his first time to be stopped by strikes, and according to him, it was also the first time for him to show some form of surrender in a fight.
“It was the first fight that I really, like, gave up in. He didn’t knock me unconscious. And I kinda turned and I covered up. I was still conscious and I knew what I was doing. But I kinda just wanted out. That was it,” he said.
“I realized that he hit me hard. It probably was not gonna be a good night for me. I was not confident in my preparation, in my cardio, my wrestling. These guys are training hard. These guys are training three times a day, two times a day, really hard.
“My body just can’t hold up to that anymore. It was the first time in my career, ever, that I gave up in a fight.”
Iaquinta holds notable wins over Kevin Lee, Joe Lauzon, and Diego Sanchez, to name a few. He also stepped in on less than a day’s notice to fight Khabib Nurmagomedov for the then-vacant UFC lightweight title, which he went the distance for.
And of course, who could forget this post-fight interview?
Iaquinta ends his career with a record of 14-7-1.