Al Iaquinta feels that somebody should have socked UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor when he invaded the cage at Bellator 187 in Dublin earlier this month.
Can you imagine the mayhem?
Things were chaotic enough even without someone taking a swing at the sport’s biggest star in front his hometown crowd, as McGregor had to be escorted from the cage after he pushed referee Marc Goddard and he subsequently ascended the fence from the outside to slap a Bellator employee.
“Did you see what Conor McGregor just did? He took over Bellator and like went crazy,” Iaquinta said of the incident during a recent chat with Jason Kindschy on BJPenn.com Radio.
“It seems like that guy, I don’t know. I feel like somebody should have just cold clocked him and give him a wake up call, dude, you know.”
We’re sure 3Arena security are happy that nobody in the general vicinity of the cage that night was thinking along the same lines as ‘Ragin’ Al.
Iaquinta subsequently conveyed a rather strange ambivalence toward the incident, however. Despite expressing the feeling that McGregor could use a rather physical jolt from the consequence-laden real world, Iaquinta went on to say that, as far as he’s concerned, McGregor can do as he pleases.
“But I mean, yeah, all the power to him I guess. I would love to be the guy running around making a mockery of everybody, but hopefully I wouldn’t do that if I was in that power,” said Iaquinta. “I don’t know. If it’s good for him. F**k, why not? Do whatever you want. You’ve got enough money. If that’s how you wanna act, by all means, go right ahead. But yeah, I think he can do whatever he wants. I think he’s got the ball in his court as far as that goes. He doesn’t need to fight if he doesn’t want to.”
Iaquinta’s coach Matt Serra recently expressed a very different stance on the situation, saying that McGregor shouldn’t be given a free pass for his actions because of his star-power.
I just think it’s f**king silly that people are like, ‘Ahh, well, that’s Conor, he’s bigger than life!’ He’s allowed to smack somebody? Man, f**K that dude. I don’t give a f**k
Judging by those comments, one get’s the sense that Serra is probably in support of Iaquinta’s initial suggestion that someone should have cracked McGregor.
Iaquinta has been involved in a number of high-profile run-ins with UFC brass and has been an outspoken critic of the company as of late. These disputes, combined with some injury woes, have significantly hampered Iaquinta’s activity and he hasn’t had many opportunities to display his considerable talents in the octagon over the last couple of years.
Despite being on an impressive five-fight winning run then, Iaquinta has little momentum behind him and he has regularly spoken about the possibility of retirement due to dissatisfaction with his financial terms. Though he hasn’t ascended to a spot befitting his performances and finds himself in an unenviable position in the UFC’s bad books, Iaquinta doesn’t feel any bitterness towards the promotion’s golden child and the man who sits atop the MMA world.
“I think he’s made the most of his opportunities,” Iaquinta said of McGregor. “He’s been very lucky in the match ups he’s gotten, but he’s had the skill to back up his talk. He’s gotten these opportunities and he’s had the skill to back it up. But, now I think he’s looking at guys like Tony Ferguson. I think that’s probably the toughest fight for him.”
McGregor is expected to face interim lightweight champ Ferguson upon his return, but the SBG Ireland fighter’s coach John Kavanagh recently suggested that it might be April before we see ‘The Notorious’ back in action.
A fight between Iaquinta and unranked but dangerous lightweight Paul Felder was originally penciled in for December 2nd at UFC 218, but ‘Ragin’ Al was subsequently withdrew from the interesting match-ip. Iaquinta told BJPenn.com Radio that he accepted the fight thinking he would be good to go by the time the event rolled around, but after further consideration he decided to give himself more time to rehab PCL and MCL injuries he suffered several months ago.