The complex case of Al Iaquinta

In an exclusive interview with CLICKON Sports from last month, you could see and hear from a mile away that this was not only a fascinating fighter – but also an extremely fascinating individual.

As a fighter turned real estate agent, Iaquinta is one of the most diverse competitors in the entire Ultimate Fighting Championship organisation. There are very few things that this man cannot do and although he had a few years of his career taken away from him due to contract disputes, there’s no doubt in our minds that he possesses the talent necessary to be one of the top contenders in the lightweight division.

“I was going stir crazy for two years, hopefully looking to fight again. So to come back and win like that, with a knockout, it was a dream come true. It was a lot to deal with, but I kinda celebrated a little too much I think. It is what it is.”

Of course, as with most cases in the UFC, things haven’t been all smooth sailing for Al – which, for the most part, can be attributed to his many confrontations with the men behind the scenes.

Alas, it seemed as if everything was solved when he returned to the Octagon back in April, but in the present day, we’ve once again been robbed of the opportunity to see him compete as an injury meant he would no longer be facing Paul Felder in Detroit.

Paul Felder UFC

It’s a situation that puts a lot of things into perspective not just for Al, but for us as fans. We all know and love MMA for the unique nature of this sport, but it seems as if 2017 has been an indication of just how quickly things can fall apart.

In the blink of an eye, a card can go from being the best of the year to being lacklustre, and there are certain changes that need to be made in order to rectify that.

“In the first year I’ve done eight [sales as a real estate agent] and I’ve got the ninth under contract right now, and my tenth is a listing that’s on the market. It took a while for me to get the hang of it, and the first six months was me kind of figuring it out. I think I could do great things, and it’s very similar to fighting in a lot of ways. It’s like an art.”

Sometimes fighters can be left on the outside looking in, wondering what happened to the fighting career that they’d been orchestrating for so long.

Thankfully for someone like Iaquinta, that’s no longer an issue, with his real estate business going through the roof over the course of the last 12 months.

It’s a venture that has opened the eyes of many fighters to the possibilities that can be found with a life away from fighting, and hopefully, it’ll wind up convincing people that there’s more to life than being punched in the face over and over again.