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Morning Report: Al Iaquinta says Tony Ferguson would be ‘a worthless person’ if not for MMA

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Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

This week, Al Iaquinta and Tony Ferguson began feuding in the aftermath of UFC 223 when Iaquina had to step in on short notice for Ferguson in a lightweight title fight with Khabib Nurmagomedov. Nurmagomedov won the fight, thus laying claim to the UFC lightweight title and, despite being injured and out for the foreseeable future, Ferguson saw fit to trash talk Nurmagomedov for getting the belt by beating a “part-time fighter” in Iaquinta. Needless to say, Iaquinta didn’t take too kindly to Ferguson’s words and a brief back-and-forth ensued on Twitter. Now though, things are heating up even further.

Speaking with Submission Radio recently, Iaquinta addressed his newfound feud with Ferguson, laying into the former interim champion for pulling out of his fight with Nurmagomedov and then talking trash anyway.

“I was just like, dude, shut the f**k up,” said Iaquinta. “Who is that guy to say anything? He had his title shot and he freaking blew it. He tripped on a wire. That’s like, nature’s weeding you out. You’re being weeded out. You’re like a kid. Kids trip over things. Adults, like, you’re a professional athlete and you can’t not trip over a wire? And then you’re [talking trash]? Disappear for a while. You’re a f**king idiot, you know what I mean?

“If that happened to me, if I had to pull out of a title fight because I tripped over a wire, you’re not hearing me talk s**t on Twitter at all. I’m gonna hide somewhere, I’m not gonna act tough. He’s acting tough. Right now, a middle school kid could kick the s**t out of him right now because he can’t do anything. You can’t talk s**t when you’re in the state that you’re in. That guy is so weird. He’s so weird.”

Iaquinta didn’t stop there though. Ferguson is a peculiar and enigmatic character, even by MMA standards and “Ragin’ Al” pulled no punches as he doubled down on calling Ferguson a “weirdo,” saying that no one cares about “El Cucuy,” that he would be a “worthless person” without fighting, and that he should have fought through the injury instead of pulling out and then talking trash.

“Who cares about that guy?” questioned Iaquinta. “He’s really just good at fighting and that’s it. If it wasn’t for fighting, he’d be like a worthless person. There’s no point to Tony Ferguson besides people beating his ass. He gets dropped every fight and he’s out of his mind. People like watching get his ass kicked and come back and win. That’s the only thing that Tony Ferguson is good at in the world. No one likes personality, he’s a weird dude. Like, I don’t even know what’s the point in that guy? There’s no point. Just go away. You tripped on a wire and I got the title shot, now you’re gonna come at me? I’ve fought with worse injuries than that, guaranteed, in my career. You get to fight week, you’re fighting. You don’t pull out of a fight during fight week. Don’t come after me cause I took advantage of a situation that he couldn’t capitalize on. How many fights in a row has he won? 10 fights? And he still hasn’t fought for a title? Like, there’s a reason for that. No one likes you. Go away.”

Ferguson recently had surgery to repair his injured knee and is now in the process of rehab, with no set timetable for return just yet. When he does return, Ferguson may find himself in the middle of a crowded queue for the next shot at Nurmagomedov’s title, with contenders like Conor McGregor, Eddie Alvarez, Dustin Poirier, and Kevin Lee all suddenly in serious title contention. And if he is out for an extended period of time and suddenly pushed to the back of the waiting list for a title shot, a return fight against Iaquinta could make a lot of sense and Iaquinta sounds amenable to the idea.

“That guy is just annoying,” said Iaquinta. “He really needs to go away until he can fight, and then once you fight just fight, dude. Everyone likes you fighting. Not a single person likes that guy. Everyone on Twitter, everyone that I talk to is like, just shut up, man. You know, everyone was looking forward to that fight. He disappointed so many people, and I come in, you know, save the day. Don’t freaking say s**t about me, bro. He’s been dropped in every fight. I drop someone, I kill them, I put them out. So he’s… it’s a different style match-up than me and Khabib. And I didn’t train right for that fight. And especially right now, I could beat the s**t out of Tony Ferguson with my pinky finger. The guy can’t even walk. You can’t talk s**t right now.”

While Ferguson may be out for awhile, Iaquinta is suddenly back and ready to fight regularly again. Having previously retired from the sport in 2015 following a contract dispute with the UFC, Iaquinta has competed only intermittently since but now the tenth-ranked lightweight says that he is in a better place with the UFC and wants to fight again soon.

“I think [my relationship with the UFC is better]. I got a bunch of love from all the employees. They all called me and thanked me for taking the fight [with Nurmagomedov] and told me how much they appreciated it, how good the fight was. So yeah, that was cool and we’ll see where it goes moving forward. I think there’s still a few things that need to be addressed for sure, but yeah, we’ll see how everything plays out. . .

“I want to get back in there soon. And I don’t know, we’ll see… we’ll see what kind of opponents – I need the right fight, at the right time, at the right place and it’s gotta make sense at this point. . . We got some talking to do depending on who the opponent is. We’ll figure it out. It’s all up in the air right now, but yeah, we gotta sit down and figure some stuff out.”


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The weekend is upon us and in the absence of a UFC card we have the return of Fedor to watch through horrified fingers. Fedor is probably going to get waxed because he’s not good anymore but there is the hope that perhaps we can relive the Emelianenko magic one more time. After all, he does have an outstanding record against former UFC champions.

Enjoy the fights and see y’all on Monday.


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