Ultimate Fighting Championship President Dana White recently spoke out about changing the weigh-in procedures going forward inside the Octagon, which has frustrated current UFC lightweight Al Iaquinta.
White has said the UFC did its research and determined the majority of its fighters preferred weigh-ins in the late afternoon as was the norm several years ago as opposed to the early morning weigh-ins.
Former UFC lightweight title challenger Iaquinta was a guest on the latest episode of “The MMA Hour” and cut a frustrated figure regarding White’s decision stating that the UFC President is putting fighter’s health at risk (via MMAFighting.com):
“His sense of reality is gone,” Iaquinta said. “It’s gone. It’s shot. It’s absolutely shot. It’s scary. Now he’s putting our health at risk. He’s going to move the weigh-ins? So why did you move the weigh-ins in the first place? Because, in his mind, he wants more exciting fights. How are you going to get more exciting fights? Give the fighters more time to recover, right? Which is also beneficial to us because it’s healthy. It’s healthy for us to replenish.
“Even though it’s healthier for the fighters, we’re going to move it back to the nighttime, because he interviewed a million fighters? I haven’t seen one that want it at night. So his sense of reality, you can’t -- it’s almost like, you do an interview with him now, it’s not about the truth, it’s about his agenda. So, I’m weighing-in in the morning.”
Iaquinta has had a rocky relationship with the UFC in the past and claims ever since the UFC was sold to WME-IMG in 2016, White is doing more harm than good for the promotion.
“Lorenzo (Fertitta) kept him in check,” Iaquinta said. “Now that [Fertitta is gone], I think he’s going to run this thing into the ground, because now he’s just saying whatever he wants to say. No one’s keeping him under wraps. He’s saying whatever he wants to say. You’re just going to move the weigh-in? What fighter did you interview? He said, ‘We’ve got 550 fighters on the roster, we interviewed more than you.’ Eh, I don’t think so. I haven’t talked to a fighter that was interviewed or talked to about moving the weigh-ins back to the nighttime. I think it’s about him. It’s all about him. It’s always about him. And if it’s not about him, he wants to get right in there.
“He’s got one foot out the door. Just go, man. Go. Go. He’s done. He’s done. And I don’t give a sh*t. I don’t care. I know. I can see. I’m going to say it. I think 50 percent of the people don’t see it, 50 percent of the people are too scared to say it. I think everyone’s onboard. I don’t know, it ruins everything. Like, a fight with Justin Gaethje, there should be no hesitation. You should just make it work, man. Make it f*cking work. Right? That’s the fight you want to see, I want to see, I want to be in, they want to be in. Everyone wants to be a part of this thing. F*cking make it work, dude. Don’t go out there on an interview and say, ‘Oh no, it’s not happening.’ Make it work. You’re the promoter. This is your job.”
“We need a promoter,” Iaquinta said. “And I think the fighters, this weigh-in thing is the last straw. This is going to kill them. This is going to put them in. You’re going to see. He’s going to say something, it’s going to get even worse. It’s going to get worse before it gets better. It’ll get better though.
Iaquinta said he isn’t fussed if his comments land him in hot water from White doesn’t care if it results in him being cut from the promotion:
“Get rid of me. I don’t give a sh*t. How about that?” Iaquinta said, laughing. “I really don’t care. That’s the difference, is I don’t care and they know I don’t care. All the rest of the guys, they care. I don’t. So, cut me. I don’t care. The UFC doesn’t make me. I make them. We make them. That’s what no one understands. No one gets it.”