If you’re buying or selling a home, or you’re looking to rent an apartment, reach out to Al Iaquinta. The UFC lightweight fighter and real estate agent from Wantagh should have plenty of time since he doesn’t plan on returning to competitive mixed martial arts right away. Or maybe ever again.
Iaquinta returned from a two-year layoff — a combination of injuries and contract disputes with the UFC — last Saturday night in thunderous fashion. He knocked out Diego Sanchez in 103 seconds at UFC Fight Night in Nashville. He aired his grievances in interviews afterward as well as social media that night.
On Monday’s edition of “The MMA Hour,” he said it was “probable” that fans won’t see him fight again for another year or two.
“If I want to fight again, I’ll fight,” Iaquinta said. “And if not, I’m not the guy who’s gonna be kissing up to the UFC.”
Despite the two-year layoff, Iaquinta still was ranked No. 14 in the UFC lightweight division, a listing determined by members of the media who cover the sport.
The UFC is scheduled to host a Fox card at the renovated Nassau Coliseum on July 22. Iaquinta said he’s not sure if he’ll want to fight on the hometown card.
“I don’t fight for the UFC,” he said. “I fight for myself, I fight for my team, for my family.”
Iaquinta (13-3-1) is a on a five-fight winning streak after sending Sanchez crumbling to the canvas. That run includes four knockouts — against Rodrigo Damm, Ross Pearson, Joe Lauzon and Sanchez — and a split decision over Jorge Masvidal.
Ah, yes, the Masvidal fight. That’s the one where Iaquinta cursed out the crowd in Fairfax, Virginia, on live network television as they booed the decision. It’s one of the incidents — the other being when Iaquinta damaged his hotel room — that contributed to Iaquinta receiving a three-fight ban on earning any fight bonuses.
Iaquinta did not receive a post-fight bonus for his knockout of Sanchez on Saturday. The performance of the night bonuses instead went to Brandon Moreno and Mike Perry.
A UFC spokesman told Newsday on Monday that there was no correlation between Iaquinta’s previous ineligibility and Moreno and Perry receiving those bonuses.
“The whole bonus thing is just ridiculous,” Iaquinta said on “The MMA Hour.” “The fact that they’re giving $50,000 bonuses, it’s like their little way to control everybody.
“I don’t understand how everyone just thinks that’s normal, $50,000 bonus. A bonus is like a little something extra. Fifty-thousand dollars is like three times some of these guys’ pay. That’s not a bonus. That’s like life-changing stuff. And oh, it looks great. But guess what? That’s their little way to control you.”
On the subject of money — fighter pay, in particular — Iaquinta has been very outspoken. It’s what led him to pass on fighting at UFC 205 at Madison Square Garden last November in the first fight in New York State after the sport’s ban was lifted.
Iaquinta was paid $26,000 in show money for Saturday’s fight and another $26,000 in win bonus.
“I’m a professional athlete, I was just on TV on Fox Sports 1, and $50,000 is what I walk away,” Iaquinta said. “Are you kidding me?”