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‘Raging’ Al Iaquinta’s blow-up during Saturday's UFC matinee was…something

Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

The fight between Al Iaquinta and Jorge Masvidal ended up being the kind of afternoon riddle that could make any concept of a bunny rabbit laying chocolate eggs come off as logical. Masvidal stormed Iaquinta early at UFC Fight Night 63, dropping him and opening a gash on his cheekbone that streamed bloody tears the rest of the fight. Then Masvidal took his foot off the gas a little bit, and hell began to slowly unravel. Iaquinta fought on, but not with tremendous urgency. He was thwarted on every takedown. The exchanges evened out. For as slick an operator as Masvidal is, he began (perhaps) to coast.

The fight was remarkable, unremarkable and just regular markable all at once.

Yet Iaquinta did just enough to convince two of the cageside judges that he won the fight in the end. The other, Douglas Crosby, saw it 30-27 for Masvidal. And here’s where it got real confusing, a little bit epic, and entirely raw. I thought Masvidal won the fight, 29-28. The crowd in Fairfax, Virginia, must have thought he won, too, and they booed the decision accordingly. Iaquinta, hearing these boos as FOX commentator Jon Anik held a hot microphone out for him, took exception.

"Are you guys booing me?" Raging Al boomed out. "You better not boo me." And then he went into a momentary tirade laced with good Long Island profanities, singling out some particular somebody in the lower bowl with the audacity to wave a middle finger at him. Ray Longo patted Iaquinta’s back. Anik’s face changed like a man whose parlay just got sunk by a garbage time touchdown. And Twitter broke out in a smattering of applause, with the words "regrettable, regrettable, regrettable" showing up here and there.


Iaquinta won and was angry. Masvidal lost and was smiling. The crowd was booing the decision, not Al. Al nonetheless didn’t like the Commonwealth’s take on things and let his emotions get the better of him. Two judges had it for Iaquinta, which was mildly surprising. The one judge, Crosby -- who has been contentious with Ray Longo’s camp, and probably shouldn't have been assigned the fight -- had it for Masvidal, which was not. The reactions to Iaquinta’s reaction to the crowd’s reaction was a lot more action than what went on during the actual fight (which had plenty).

Only in the fight game can so much exist under the surface.

In the end, though, in a sport where two people are literally fighting for their livelihoods, you’d like it to make more sense. Just a little more transparency. Did Iaquinta really win? Maybe and maybe not. At lot of people think he didn't, but it shouldn’t be up to Crosby to decide if there’s even a remote chance that he could be biased. Maybe this fed into Iaquinta's outrage. Either way, in a sport where the judges are judged, these types of things are somewhat hard to believe.

Then again, Iaquinta can’t even compete in his home state of New York legally. At least not yet. This sport has come a long way but it’s got a long way to go. There’s not a lot of gray matter in a word like professionalism, but there is in MMA. The Iaquinta-Masvidal fight, from the commission assignments down to Iaquinta scorching some earth on the microphone, proved it once again.

And as time goes on, it doesn’t get any easier to clap while smacking your forehead at the same time. It just doesn’t.

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