Iaquinta On Open Scoring: “The Smarter Fighter Doesn’t Need To Know”

UFC veteran Al Iaquinta thinks that if a universal open scoring system was implemented across MMA, it would do more harm than good. Iaquinta has been a strong advocate for UFC fighter rights, more specifically when it comes to fighter pay. But, the former lightweight title challenger doesn’t think an open scoring system would be…

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UFC veteran Al Iaquinta thinks that if a universal open scoring system was implemented across MMA, it would do more harm than good.

Iaquinta has been a strong advocate for UFC fighter rights, more specifically when it comes to fighter pay. But, the former lightweight title challenger doesn’t think an open scoring system would be a good idea.

The concept of open scoring has run rampant in public discourse following the controversial fight between Holly Holm and Ketlen Vieira this past weekend. Vieira won via split decision despite getting outstruck in virtually every category by Holm.

During a recent appearance on The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani, Iaquinta explained how an open scoring system would change the trajectory of a fight.

“The smarter fighter going into the fifth round doesn’t need to know the score,” Iaquinta opined. “They know the score. If their technique and their experience and everything, their fight IQ is higher than the other fighter, you’re evening the playing field by giving the dumber fighter the scorecard going into the later rounds. Or going into any round, really.

“A fighter might come out and they might’ve thought they won, and they didn’t. Now, say I know I won the fight, I might know I lost the round, he might’ve thought I lost it too but I know I lost it and so I know I need to go hard in the third. So, I think the smarter fighter doesn’t want the other fighter to know in between rounds.”

Helwani has been a strong advocate of open scoring over the past few months and feels that it’s the best solution for a quick fix to controversial judging. On the other hand, Iaquinta isn’t sold on the idea that MMA should be treated like other sports such as baseball and football where the scores are publicized.

Iaquinta also argued that the discussion has switched to just talking about scoring rather than athletes going out and trying to finish the fight. Helwani went on to point out that an open scoring system would treat judges like umpires in baseball, with fighters getting a general idea of how each judge tends to score vs. how umpires set up a strike zone.

Iaquinta was The Ultimate Fighter: Season 15 runner-up, losing to Michael Chiesa in the finale. He went on to win his first three fights in the Octagon, including over former interim title challenger Kevin Lee.

Iaquinta has gone on to have a successful career in the cage with wins over the likes of Jorge Masvidal, Diego Sanchez, and Joe Lauzon. He has lost three in a row and seems in no rush to return to fighting.

In the meantime, the debate surrounding open scoring marches on, and it’s unclear if there will be significant changes to the current scoring system in larger promotions such as the UFC and Bellator.

Do you agree with Al Iaquinta’s position on open scoring?

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Iaquinta: People Can’t Just Admit They Were Wrong About Sterling

Aljamain Sterling’s teammate, UFC veteran Al Iaquinta, has slammed those who can’t bring themselves to admit that they were wrong about the bantamweight champion. Following his title crowning last March, which came via disqualification after Petr Yan threw an illegal knee, Sterling spent over a year on the sidelines, a period in which he consistently…

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Aljamain Sterling’s teammate, UFC veteran Al Iaquinta, has slammed those who can’t bring themselves to admit that they were wrong about the bantamweight champion.

Following his title crowning last March, which came via disqualification after Petr Yan threw an illegal knee, Sterling spent over a year on the sidelines, a period in which he consistently experienced criticism from those who doubted his credentials and sought to delegitimize his reign.

At UFC 273 last month, “Funk Master” returned with a chip on his shoulder and a point to prove. After five rounds inside Jacksonville’s VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena, the champ had proved a whole host of fans, fighters, and pundits wrong.

After falling on the right side of a split decision, Sterling left the Octagon with the bantamweight title in tow and a much more convincing victory over Yan on his record.

While some, most notably former UFC middleweight champion Robert Whittaker, have since changed their opinion on Sterling and praised his victory, others, including UFC President Dana White and former referee John McCarthy, questioned the result.

Now, one of Sterling’s most notable teammates has criticized those who still don’t give the champ the praise that he is due.

Iaquinta: People Still Aren’t Giving Sterling Enough Credit

During a recent appearance on The Schmozone podcast, Iaquinta, who was present in Sterling’s corner at the April pay-per-view, addressed the reaction to his training partner’s second triumph over Yan.

According to “Raging” Al, Sterling’s detractors are “grasping at straws” with their post-UFC 273 criticisms and takes.

“The guy freakin’ did it, you know what I mean? You gotta be a complex person to get to the level that Aljo is at. But a lot of people, I don’t think, are still giving him the credit, even Dana going out and saying that—whatever he said after the fight,” said Iaquinta.

“It’s like, dude, how could you ever score the fight differently? A lot of people said the first round, this and that, there’s pictures of him in the second round, mounted freakin’ body lock, triangle… There’s no picture of Aljo ever like that in the whole fight.

Robbery Review: Aljamain Sterling vs. Petr Yan at UFC 273 - WMMAA

“If you’re gonna give the first round 10-9, the second round’s gotta be 10-8? That 10-8, there’s no way Petr Yan, in the fourth round—people are just grasping at straws. They can’t just admit that they were wrong the whole time,” added Iaquinta. “Very few people believed in Aljo the way that Aljo believed in him, the way that us in the gym saw and knew what he was capable of.”

While it’s true that many still doubt Sterling as a top UFC champion, the New York native didn’t let that affect him prior to the rematch, so it’s unlikely to hinder his stride moving forward.

Having proved himself right against “No Mercy,” the next step for Sterling will be a second defense of his title. While an opponent is yet to be confirmed, it seems that TJ Dillashaw and the returning Henry Cejudo are leading the charge.

Either way, one thing for certain is that Sterling will have Iaquinta and their fellow Serra-Longo teammates firmly behind his reign.

Do you agree with Al Iaquinta? Does Aljamain Sterling still not get the credit that he deserves?

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Iaquinta Admits Regret Over Accepting Green As UFC 268 Opponent

Former UFC lightweight title challenger Al Iaquinta has admitted he holds some regret over his decision to face Bobby Green for his return fight at UFC 268. After two years away from action, Al Iaquinta made a comeback to the Octagon last November. Prior to his hiatus, the New York native fell to consecutive unanimous…

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Former UFC lightweight title challenger Al Iaquinta has admitted he holds some regret over his decision to face Bobby Green for his return fight at UFC 268.

After two years away from action, Al Iaquinta made a comeback to the Octagon last November. Prior to his hiatus, the New York native fell to consecutive unanimous decision losses against Donald Cerrone and Dan Hooker.

Inside the prestigious Madison Square Garden, “Raging” Al hoped to return to the win column in front of a hometown crowd. In his way of doing so was Green, a fellow veteran whose level of activity represented the opposite of Iaquinta’s across 2020 and 2021.

Having narrowly fallen to defeat against rising star Rafael Fiziev in his previous outing, “King” was also hoping for a rebound performance. With his first finish since a 2013 body kick against James Krause, Green did exactly that.

Inside the opening round, the 35-year-old dropped Iaquinta, before swarming him for the early stoppage and spoiling the homecoming.

Iaquinta: “I Should Have Picked A Different Opponent”

While Green hopes to ride the momentum from that result into his first appearance of 2022 this weekend, a main-card clash with Nasrat Haqparast at UFC 271, Iaquinta may be hanging up his gloves

Shortly after the devastating loss, Iaquinta suggested that his appearance at UFC 268 was likely his last fight, which would call an end to a memorable 22-fight career. Iaquinta has since walked back these suggestions, taking a “we’ll see” approach to what may lie ahead.

Three months beyond his failed comeback, the former lightweight contender, who recorded wins against the likes of Jorge Masvidal, Diego Sanchez, and Kevin Lee during his UFC tenure, has looked back on his decision to return against an opponent as tough as Green.

During an appearance on The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani, Iaquinta admitted that he regrets choosing “King” as his 14th foe on MMA’s biggest stage.

“Bobby Green is a tough guy. I should have picked a different opponent than that after a two-year layoff, coming off of two losses. I’m like, I wanted the best opponent, I was like, ‘I want Bobby Green, that guy is looking good right now,’” said Iaquinta. “Looking back, I should have known. I did know he was good, but maybe we’ll take it back a notch on the competition and ease it into it a little bit. I don’t know if there are tune-up fights in the lightweight division, but I don’t know about Bobby Green.”

If this is the end for Iaquinta, while he may have regrets about his most recent opponent, Iaquinta can certainly be proud of everything he has accomplished in the UFC up to this point. Despite never having gold wrapped around his waist, “Raging” Al went five rounds with the great Khabib Nurmagomedov for the vacant belt and faced the best of the best in the promotion across his decade on its roster.

Do you think Al Iaquinta should have returned to the Octagon against a lesser opponent in 2021?

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Al Iaquinta Doubts Jake Paul’s Sincerity On Fighter Pay

Al Iaquinta has doubts about Jake Paul’s intentions regarding fighter pay. The topic of fighter pay has become a hot-button issue lately among fighters and media. Jake Paul is one man who is leading the way to help improve the pay structure with MMA. He has been vocal about wanting the UFC to pay their […]

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Al Iaquinta has doubts about Jake Paul’s intentions regarding fighter pay.

The topic of fighter pay has become a hot-button issue lately among fighters and media. Jake Paul is one man who is leading the way to help improve the pay structure with MMA. He has been vocal about wanting the UFC to pay their fighters more money and has targeted UFC President Dana White in this battle. However, some people are having doubts about Paul’s true intentions in this fight, including Al Iaquinta.

Al Iaquinta
Image Credit: Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Paul has blown up in the boxing world over the last few years. He has made his way by fighting former UFC fighters such as Ben Askren and Tyron Woodley. In these bouts, the former UFC fighters are reported to have made much more than they did in their time with the MMA organization.

This led Paul on his crusade against the UFC and White. He even released a “diss track” criticizing White and his low payment of fighters. Iaquinta feels that Paul’s whole charade is for self-promotion rather than helping the fighters in need.

“I don’t know how sincere it is or not, but I don’t think it can be that sincere because it hasn’t really affected him,” Iaquinta said to MMA Fighting. “If it had affected him then it would be super sincere, see I think it works for him as he’s getting promotion out of it. That video got a lot of views. I think he’s young, smart, wealthy, and he’s not bound to anything. He’s gonna be successful.”

Iaquinta was on a similar mission as Paul. He was one of the first UFC fighters to begin complaining about the payments in the UFC. Iaquinta was a perennial top ten fighter throughout most of his career. His shining moment was perhaps his UFC 223 title shot against Khabib Nurmagomedov. He later sat out two years due to contract negotiations problems and wanting more money.

Iaquinta, who is also a licensed real estate agent along with being a fighter, once claimed that he would quit fighting and just sell houses if he was not paid well. It is claims such as this one that have led Paul to step in.

Paul recently bought shares of the UFC’s parent company Endeavor in an effort to bring about change. It is unlikely that his purchase will give him and say in this kind of decision-making, but that is not stopping him from trying. As for Iaquinta, his last bout could have been his last and thus may not be affected by Paul’s change or lack thereof.

Do you believe that Jake Paul is actually trying to raise fighter pay in MMA?

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Al Iaquinta Suggests Loss To Green At UFC 268 Was His Last Fight

Lightweight veteran Al Iaquinta has admitted he “gave up” against Bobby Green at UFC 268, and suggested he’s likely to retire from the sport.

Iaquinta, who’s fought in the UFC ever since a defeat to Michael Chiesa in The Ultimate Fighter 15 Lightwe…

UFC 268: Iaquinta vs. Green, Al Iaquinta

Lightweight veteran Al Iaquinta has admitted he “gave up” against Bobby Green at UFC 268, and suggested he’s likely to retire from the sport.

Iaquinta, who’s fought in the UFC ever since a defeat to Michael Chiesa in The Ultimate Fighter 15 Lightweight Tournament final in 2012, has gone 1-4 across his last five fights. The torrid run began with his sole title fight in the promotion.

After building a five-fight winning streak, which included victories over Joe Lauzon, Jorge Masvidal, and Diego Sanchez, “Raging” Al found himself opposite Khabib Nurmagomedov in an extremely short-notice matchup in 2018. Iaquinta was originally set to face Paul Felder at UFC 223, but stepped in to face “The Eagle” after an injury to Tony Ferguson and concerns over first-choice replacement Max Holloway’s weight cut.

In the five-round main event, in which Iaquinta was ineligible to win the vacant belt, Khabib emerged victorious on the judges’ scorecards. Despite falling to his first defeat in four years, the New York native made it further than the likes of Conor McGregor, Dustin Poirier, and Justin Gaethje did against the Dagestani.

After an immediate rebound win against Kevin Lee was followed by consecutive losses to Donald Cerrone and Dan Hooker, Iaquinta spent over two years away from the Octagon. He returned earlier this month in front of a home crowd inside Madison Square Garden. However, his comeback was spoiled by Green, who finished the 34-year-old in the opening round.

Iaquinta: “I’m Thinking That’s It”

Despite being closer to 30 than 40, Iaquinta believes fans have now seen him in action for the last time. During the latest episode of the Call Me Al Show, the former lightweight contender admitted the effort and training needed to compete at the highest level is simply not worth it for him anymore.

“Fighting again? I’m thinking that’s it, man, I’m thinking that’s it. That is the way to go out. Obviously, you want to go out on a win, but this shit is not worth it dude. You saw Michael Chandler and Justin Gaethje fight, those guys beat the hell out of each other. That wasn’t worth it.” (h/t BJPenn.com)

Iaquinta went on to admit that he essentially quit after being hit with a hard shot by Green on November 5. The 34-year-old’s apparent retirement comes after he “gave up” for the first time in his career. According to Iaquinta, his body is not up to competing anymore.

“To be honest with you, it was the first fight that I gave up in. He didn’t knock me unconscious, I kind of turned and covered up, I was conscious and knew what I was doing. I just wanted (out), that was it. I realize he hit me hard and it probably wasn’t going to be a good night for me. I was not confident in my preparation, my cardio, my wrestling. These guys are training hard, three times a day, two times a day, really hard. My body just can’t hold up to that anymore. This is the first time in my career ever that I gave up in a fight.”

Do you think Al Iaquinta has fought for the last time?

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Al Iaquinta Contemplating Retirement After He ‘Gave Up’ At UFC 268

Al IaquintaAl Iaquinta hasn’t confirmed that he is retiring but has admitted that hanging up the gloves has become a serious option.  After two years out of the UFC following his record of 1-3 with losses to the then champion Khabib Nurmagomedov, and fan favourites Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone and Dan Hooker.  ‘Raging’ returned to the Octagon […]

Al Iaquinta

Al Iaquinta hasn’t confirmed that he is retiring but has admitted that hanging up the gloves has become a serious option. 

After two years out of the UFC following his record of 1-3 with losses to the then champion Khabib Nurmagomedov, and fan favourites Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone and Dan Hooker. 

‘Raging’ returned to the Octagon at UFC 268 to fight fellow lightweight Bobby Green, but it wasn’t the return he was hoping for as he was TKO’d in the first round

Speaking on his YouTube channel “Call Me Al Show” the one-time lightweight title challenger revealed that he is almost certainly done with MMA.

“Fighting again? I’m thinking that’s it, man. I’m thinking that’s it,” Iaquinta said. “That’s the way to go out. Obviously you want to go out on a win, but this sh*t’s not worth it. You saw Michael Chandler and Justin Gaethje fight (at UFC 268). Those guys, they beat the hell out of each other. That wasn’t worth it.”

Iaquinta admits that mentally he quit at UFC 268 and just wanted out of the fight.

“To be honest with you, I don’t know, it was the first fight that I really gave up in,” Iaquinta said. “He didn’t knock me unconscious. I turned, and I covered up. I was still conscious, I knew what I was doing, but I kind of just wanted out. I realized he hit me hard, and it probably wasn’t gonna be a good night for me. I was not confident in my preparation. …

“It’s the first time in my career ever that I gave up in a fight. I used to watch people do that all the time, and I could never understand it. But at this point, it’s not life-changing money for me to go in there. When you’re younger, injuries happen and you heal. I’m 34 years old. You go in there, you get an injury, there’s a good shot it’s never gonna heal. Doctors, I used to think you get surgery, and they fix it. Doctors can fix anything. I don’t ever want to have surgery again.” (Transcribed by MMA Junkie)

The rise of Al Iaquinta

Iaquinta’s first mainstream exposure was in 2012 when he was competing on the “The Ultimate Fighter 15”.

Even though he lost in the lightweight final to Micheal Chiesa he was still signed to the UFC and made his debut in 2013. 

Everybody’s favourite Estate Agent would then make a storm through the lightweight division going 8-1 with wins over Kevin Lee, Jorge Masvidal and Diego Sanchez. 

Then getting the last-minute replacement fight for the lightweight title against Nurmagomedov, Khabib would dominate the fight but large parts but Iaquinta impressed people with his toughness and ability to force ‘The Eagle’ to strike with him in the later rounds. 

 
Do you think Al Iaquinta should retire?