Veteran UFC lightweight and The Ultimate Fighter 15 finalist Al Iaquinta is leaning toward retirement after his third straight octagon loss.
Iaquinta, who was stopped by Bobby Green at UFC 268, announced “I’m thinking that’s it, man,” on his video podcast Call Me Al, adding a career of hard training and his actions in his most recent fight signaled he could no longer compete.
“That’s the way to go out,” he said. “I mean, obviously, you want to go out on a win, but this sh*t’s not worth it, dude. You saw Michael Chandler and Justin Gaethje fight. Those guys, they beat the hell out of each other. That wasn’t worth it.
“To be honest with you, I don’t know. It was the first fight that I really gave up in. He didn’t knock me unconscious, and I kind of turned and I covered up. I was still conscious; I knew what I was doing. But I kind of just wanted out. That was it. I realized that he hit me hard – it probably was not going to be a good night for me. I was not confident in my preparation, in my cardio, my wrestling.
“These guys are training hard. These guys are training three times a day, two times a day, really hard. My body just can’t hold up to that any more. That’s the first time in my career ever that I gave up in a fight.”
Iaquinta did not appear to officially announce his retirement after his 15th UFC appearance. The 34-year-old fighter has, however, pivoted toward a second career in real estate and touted the benefits of using his celebrity to sell property.
At 1-4 in his most recent five appearances, Iaquinta’s slide began with a very short-notice title fight at UFC 223 against now-retired champ Khabib Nurmagomedov. Iaquinta drew praise for his gutsy performance and late surge. But in subsequent appearances he lost on the scorecards twice after rebounding against one-time interim title challenger Kevin Lee, and his loss to Green marked his first in a 12-year pro career by stoppage due to strikes.
An outspoken figure outside the octagon, Iaquinta repeatedly has clashed with the UFC over pay, and he served a stint as secretary and treasurer of the upstart Project Spearhead, which aimed to forge a collective bargaining agreement between fighters and the UFC.
Iaquinta’s UFC record stands at 9-6. He debuted in the octagon after making it to the finals on TUF 15, losing via submission to winner Michael Chiesa.