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Joe Lauzon: Al Iaquinta is ‘trying to get fired at this point’

Joe Lauzon understands Al Iaquinta’s frustrations in a way only a fellow fighter can understand.

It’s a tough business with a short window for making good money. When you work hard and do your job well, only to find others who maybe don’t have your talents receiving better treatment and pay, it can be difficult to put your head down and keep moving forward.

They don’t call Iaquinta “Raging’ Al” for nothing, as his outbursts directed at the UFC in interviews and on social media have become one of the sport’s most intensely followed subplots of 2017.

For his part, Lauzon believes Iaquinta is deliberately trying to get out of his contract. And that he’s making a big mistake.

“I think he’s trying to get fired at this point,” the Boston-area veteran said on Monday’s edition of The MMA Hour. “I think he’s chalking it up as a loss and he’s trying to get out of his contract any way he can. I think he’s going about it all wrong.”

While Lauzon understands where Iaquinta is coming from, he also tries to put himself in the UFC’s shoes. If the UFC gave in to Iaquinta’s contract demands, that would set a precedent and encourage copycats to try to use social media tirades to get a better deal.

“Saying ‘F the UFC’ and all sort of stuff is not going to help him,” Lauzon said. “He was on a three-fight, like, he wasn’t eligible for bonuses. It’s not going to help him to keep doing this, because, what’s going to happen? UFC is goes and caves in to him if he keeps doing this, and gives in to his demands, you’re going to have 450 guys going ‘F the UFC’ on Twitter nonstop.”

Iaquinta is on a five-fight win streak -- which includes a second-round TKO of Lauzon at UFC 183 -- and has won eight of nine. But as long as Iaquinta keeps venting in public against the company, Lauzon doesn’t see the company giving Iaquinta the money or promotional push commensurate to a fighter of his skill level.

“They’re going to make an example of him,” Lauzon said.

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