Iaquinta leaning toward retirement, says he 'gave up' at UFC 268
Warning: Story contains coarse language
UFC lightweight Al Iaquinta might be done with mixed martial arts after coming up short in his comeback bout earlier in November.
"Fighting again? I'm thinking that's it, man, I'm thinking that's it," Iaquinta said Thursday on his "Call Me Al Show" podcast.
"That's the way to go out. Obviously, you want to go out on a win, but this shit's not worth it, dude. You saw Michael Chandler and Justin Gaethje fight. Those guys, they beat the hell out of each other. That wasn't worth it."
After dealing with multiple injuries and surgeries over the past two years, Iaquinta returned against Bobby Green at UFC 268, which took place at Madison Square Garden in New York. The former top-five lightweight suffered the first TKO defeat of his 22-bout career, falling to Green in the opening round.
"It was the first fight that I really gave up in," Iaquinta said. "He didn't knock me unconscious. I turned, and then I covered up. I was still conscious, I knew what I was doing, but that was it. I realized that he hit me hard, (and) it probably was not going to be a good night for me."
Iaquinta, who also serves as a real estate agent in New York, said he's leaning toward retiring because his body doesn't hold up as well as it did earlier in his career.
"Raging" added he wasn't confident in his preparations for Green and often thought about simply not getting hurt in the fight throughout his training camp.
"You can't have that attitude going into it," Iaquinta said. "You have to be a savage, a savage motherf----- to really get in that cage. The mindset you have to have is, 'I don't give a shit about my body.'"
The Long Island native said he hurt his knee and broke his nose in the fight, and he's going to Colombia on Dec. 4 to receive stem cell therapy in both of his knees.
Iaquinta ultimately doesn't think it's worth it to continue harming his body as long as he's not getting paid "life-changing money."
"When you're younger, injuries happen, and you heal," Iaquinta said. "I'm 34 years old. You go in there (and) you get an injury, there's a good shot it's never going to heal."
However, Iaquinta stopped short of officially announcing his retirement, and he admitted there's always a chance he'll want to step back into the Octagon once he's healed up.
"That's where my mind is right now," Iaquinta said. "I start feeling good, I don't know. You know what I mean? I might get that itch."
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