It might be hard to picture, but Octagon stud and real estate badass Al Iaquinta is a fighter for the sake a fighting. If we were in feudal Japan, he’d be one of those samurais who are big in bushido but always down to scrap.
So when Iaquinta thinks Conor McGregor has lost his “martial way”, it’s actually coming from a guy who’s a proponent of the combative arts. “Ragin’ Al” fights well, knows fighting, and can speak on the matter with authority.
Here’s what Iaquinta had to say to MMAJunkie:
“I was a big fan, but I think he’s getting a little out of control now,” Iaquinta said. “I thought he was the guy that would kind of do what he did but stay true to the martial arts. It seemed like, in the beginning, he was really kind of like the martial way, do the right thing, respect your fellow competitors, ‘we’re all in this’ kind of thing. His goal set out to be the best, and now that he is the best and he’s got a lot of money. I just think he’s a little out of control.”
Iaquinta, who’s currently unbooked for his next fight, cites McGregor’s infamous bus attack at UFC 223 as one example of the fighter flying off the handle. But, of course, there are plenty more of them in recent years.
Like McGregor, Iaquinta is an obvious proponent of verbal warfare leading up to a fight. The difference, however, is his willingness to escalate from words to physical actions.
“It definitely draws people in,” he said. “But I think sometimes it goes a little too far. You can be a good entertainer without … it was a little overboard. Someone could’ve seriously got injured, somebody that had nothing to do with anything. There was people on that bus, UFC employees, freaking bus drive who probably doesn’t know what the hell is going on.”
If you’ll recall, though both McGregor and Iaquinta lost to lightweight champ Khabib Nurmagomedov this past year, Iaquinta got back in the “W” column by beating the stuffing out of Kevin Lee. So maybe he should fight McGregor…?
I don’t know. I do know that Iaquinta is great on the mic, so the lead-up to the fight could be epic.