To see one of UFC’s top Lightweight contenders, in the prime of his career on the side line for almost two years is an absolute shame. It’s also something new UFC matchmaker Sean Shelby will look to correct. Shelby went to Twitter last night posting a picture with Iaquinta along side coaches Matt Serra and Ray Longo. “Look for Al Iaquinta soon in an octagon near you.”
Iaquinta was originally slated to fight Thiago Alves at UFC 205 in Madison Square Garden. “Ragin” looked to receive proper compensation following a second knee surgery, a four fight win streak, and scheduled to fight a top ranked opponent. He also like many fighters was dealing with the after math of the Reebok deal. Once it was clear that Joe Silva and UFC management wouldn’t even consider negotiating, Iaquinta was forced to pull out of the November fight. A tough decision with that card being the long awaited UFC New York debut.
Iaquinta appears to be open to speaking with Shelby and new UFC management, discussing a deal better suited for a top ranked contender. Although Iaquinta has embarked on a career in real estate, he’s continued to stay in top shape in his break from the octagon. “This is probably the healthiest my body has been in a long time” Iaquinta told Submission radio. Not only did Iaquinta express the option of getting back in the octagon in 2017, he went on to discuss the idea of fighting at welterweight. In speaking about who Raging Al may look to fight next, he also gave his thoughts on that potential move to 170 pounds.
“I think Thiago Alves. He couldn’t make 155, so I’d be willing to go up to 170. I think that’d be good, that’d be fun. Who knows, maybe I’ll stay at 170. I’d be faster than everybody. The strength would be something I’d have to deal with, but I’ve sparred with 170-pounders in the gym all the time and I do great. So I think that might be a definite option for me.”
For now it will take a little time and the right opportunity to arise. Iaquinta is in Denver to support teammate Aljamain Sterling, than head to Australia for three weeks teaching seminars and private lessons throughout several different gyms. In the mean time sit tight Iaquinta Nation, Iaquinta may be back and raging soon enough.