Al Iaquinta, UFC lightweight who is currently ranked tenth in the division would need a hefty amount of money to fight Khabib Nurmagomedov. He is greatly impressed by Khabib Nurmagomedov’s dominating performance at UFC 219 against Brazilian striker Edson Barboza back in December.
In a recent interview, Al Iaquinta is willing to entertain the idea of a potential fight with Khabib, if only it comes with big bucks.
“I can guarantee you [Conor McGregor] is not coming back to fight Khabib Nurmagomedov. Guaranteed. And I don’t blame him, I wouldn’t either,” Iaquinta told Ariel Helwani on Monday’s episode of The MMA Hour (transcript via MMA Mania).
“You’d have to pay me $1 million dollars right now to fight that f—-ng guy. I don’t want to fight that f—-ng guy, did you see what happened to Barboza? Are you f—-ng nuts? You want to fight Khabib Nurmagomedov?” he added.
“You have to pay me to fight that guy. Now if you paid me I’d go in there and freaking fight him, but, Barboza got paid 70, whatever he got paid. Get the f–k out of here, that’s silly, you’re nuts. The guy is like, I don’t know.”
It would be hard to argue that Iaquinta hasn’t earned the pay advance, as though he’s been a resilient fighter for the UFC outside of the Octagon, inside of it he’s been a force to be reckoned with, winning eight of his last nine fights, including his current five-fight winning streak.
As per Iaquinta, his new fight with Paul Felder at UFC 223 in April came together after he spoke to UFC matchmaker Sean Shelby and laid out his contractual demands. The event is set to take place on Saturday, April 7 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y.