UFC Milwaukee’s Al Iaquinta feels he’s more deserving of a rematch with Khabib Nurmagomedov than Conor McGregor, but failing that, he’d love a chance against Tony Ferguson.
Milwaukee, WI — Al Iaquinta entered UFC Milwaukee full of confidence. Not that you can blame him, after he managed to go the distance with Khabib Nurmagomedov in his last outing, on short notice. Iaquinta surprised just about everyone, looking very, very good against Khabib in their UFC 223 title fight. At UFC on FOX 31, as the Milwaukee card Saturday was formally known, Iaquinta looked very, very good again. That led him to a five-round unanimous decision win over Kevin Lee.
Speaking to media outlets including Cageside Press following the bout, Iaquinta revealed what transpired in the cage after the fight. Essentially, it was just “a lot of emotion.” Much of which stemmed from “a lot of his talking, a lot of him dancing out to the cage, his outfits, and all that sh*t.”
Iaquinta took umbrage — you might say he was raging — over how Lee presented himself during the build-up to the fight. It’s something he’d touched on before. And he felt he led by example on Saturday. “This is how it’s done. Look at me. I’m the way that this thing is done. I do this right,” he proclaimed. “So I went out there and showed him how to fight. He’s big and strong, he took me down, he held me a few times,” he admitted. Still, “if that fight’s ten rounds, how do you think that’s going to go? That guy’s not beating me. It’s not happening.”
Champ Nurmagomedov sent his regards following the win. Asked about another date with ‘The Eagle,’ Iaquinta said that “if anyone deserves a rematch with Khabib, it’s me. It’s not freaking McGregor.”
“McGregor had all the time in the world to prepare, and you know,” he said of how the UFC 229 title fight ended. “He fought a good fight, but at the end of the day — just like Kevin Lee, Kevin Lee, he can get better, he can train, McGregor, he can get better, he can train, but there’s something that you can’t put in somebody.” An intangible, really, is what Iaquinta was getting at. Or maybe just heart. “And he’s got all that money now,” he continued on the McGregor topic, “he’s not getting this. I got this. You can give me millions and billions of dollars, and I’ll always have that. You’re not getting me out of there. You’re going to have to kill me. Khabib knows this. Kevin Lee knows this.”
Recalling the UFC Milwaukee main event just minutes before, Iaquinta said that “before the fifth round, we were standing there and we were waiting. And I looked across the cage and I said ‘same Al.’ I’m the same Al, motherf*cker.” That, Iaquinta believes, gave Lee a flashback to their first fight, and the realization that he wouldn’t be able to get ‘Raging Al’ out of there.
As for any chance of a third fight, “I don’t see us fighting again, and I don’t see him ever beating me,” said Al.
If the Nurmagomedov rematch doesn’t come to fruition immediately, and if we’re being honest, it may not, given how the business works, there’s another fight that would interest Raging Al. That would be Tony Ferguson.
“Ferguson. I think Ferguson’s the guy,” he said. “I think I’m a perfect style match-up to beat him. If there’s any holdup, that’s the guy I want to fight.”
Catch the full UFC on FOX 31 post-fight press scrum with Al Iaquinta above!