For quite some time, Al Iaquinta has been one of the more outspoken members of the UFC roster when it comes to criticism of the promotion.
And, even though he’s got the fight he’s been asking for — an August 25 main event bout with Justin Gaethje — it doesn’t seem as if the man from Long Island is getting any more shy about his opinions.
For instance, take UFC president Dana White’s comments last week where he stated the UFC would be returning to afternoon weigh-ins so as to avoid fighters missing weight and harming events. While some fighters might have voiced their disappointment with the decision, none went quite as far as Iaquinta did on today’s The MMA Hour.
“His sense of reality is gone,” Iaquinta said about White. “It’s gone. It’s shot. It’s absolutely shot. It’s scary. Now he’s putting our health at risk. He’s going to move the weigh-ins? So why did you move the weigh-ins in the first place? Because, in his mind, he wants more exciting fights. How are you going to get more exciting fights? Give the fighters more time to recover, right? Which is also beneficial to us because it’s healthy. It’s healthy for us to replenish.
“Even though it’s healthier for the fighters, we’re going to move it back to the nighttime, because he interviewed a million fighters? I haven’t seen one that want it at night. So his sense of reality, you can’t — it’s almost like, you do an interview with him now, it’s not about the truth, it’s about his agenda.
“So, I’m weighing-in in the morning.”
And he didn’t stop there.Iaquinta continue his tirade on White’s decision, blasting the UFC president and going as far to say he should leave his position in the company.
“Lorenzo (Fertitta) kept him in check,” Iaquinta said. “Now that [Fertitta is gone], I think he’s going to run this thing into the ground, because now he’s just saying whatever he wants to say. No one’s keeping him under wraps. He’s saying whatever he wants to say. You’re just going to move the weigh-in? What fighter did you interview? [White] said, ‘We’ve got 550 fighters on the roster, we interviewed more than you.’ Eh, I don’t think so. I haven’t talked to a fighter that was interviewed or talked to about moving the weigh-ins back to the nighttime.
“I think it’s about him. It’s all about him. It’s always about him. And if it’s not about him, he wants to get right in there. He’s got one foot out the door. Just go, man. Go. Go. He’s done. He’s done. And I don’t give a shit. I don’t care. I know. I can see. I’m going to say it. I think 50 percent of the people don’t see it, 50 percent of the people are too scared to say it. I think everyone’s onboard.
I don’t know, it ruins everything. Like, a fight with Justin Gaethje, there should be no hesitation. You should just make it work, man. Make it fucking work. Right? That’s the fight you want to see, I want to see, I want to be in, they want to be in. Everyone wants to be a part of this thing. Fucking make it work, dude. Don’t go out there on an interview and say, ‘Oh no, it’s not happening.’ Make it work. You’re the promoter. This is your job.
“We need a promoter,” Iaquinta continued. “And I think the fighters, this weigh-in thing is the last straw. This is going to kill them. This is going to put them in. You’re going to see. He’s going to say something, it’s going to get even worse. It’s going to get worse before it gets better. It’ll get better though.”
Historically, fighters have rarely gone against the boss in such a public manner, potentially for fear of repercussions. When it comes to Iaquinta, however, there’s no such fear. In fact, he says, if you want to fire him, go ahead.
“Get rid of me. I don’t give a shit. How about that?” Iaquinta said. “I really don’t care. That’s the difference, is I don’t care and they know I don’t care. All the rest of the guys, they care. I don’t. So, cut me. I don’t care. The UFC doesn’t make me. I make them. We make them. That’s what no one understands. No one gets it.”