Al Iaquinta Out of Fight Against Justin Gaethje at UFC Fight Night in Nebraska
Al Iaquinta will not be facing Justin Gaethje at UFC Fight Night in Lincoln, Nebraska after all.
Just a week after the fight was confirmed, Iaquinta has informed the UFC that he’s no longer competing in the main event for the card taking place on Aug. 25 in Nebraska.
No exact reason was given for Iaquinta’s withdrawal from the card, but Gaethje’s manager Ali Abdel-Aziz confirmed the news on Wednesday following an initial report from ESPN.
A search for a new opponent to face Gaethje is reportedly underway.
“Nothing but love for Al. Al is going to be Al. I like Al very much,” Abdel-Aziz said on Wednesday. “Doesn’t matter who is going to fight Justin Gaethje, they could put a chair in there against him and it’s going to be exciting.”
Iaquinta has definitely had a tumultuous relationship with the UFC over the past few years starting with a dispute over a surgery he required for his knee after originally suffering the injury on “The Ultimate Fighter”.
The UFC eventually paid for the surgery but Iaquinta never got past the battle to get it done. Add to that, Iaquinta disputed a three fight ban from receiving post fight bonuses as punishment after several incidents including cursing on live television after a win that landed him in hot water with the UFC.
In recent months it appeared that Iaquinta had reached a middle ground with the UFC after negotiating a new contract and then stepping in on short notice to face Khabib Nurmagomedov in a lightweight title bout at UFC 223 in April.
Still, Iaquinta has continuously battled to institute a fighter’s union in the UFC and he even disputed that he was taking the fight with Gaethje when it was originally reported.
As of last week, Iaquinta confirmed he was taking the fight but now it appears he’s dropped out of the contest and the UFC is now searching for a replacement.