Sean Pierson says Al Iaquinta is "maturing" and compares him to Conor McGregor.
At UFC Nashville, Iaquinta defeated Diego Sanchez in a first round knockout. He had not fought in two years since leaving to pursue a career in real estate. In his post-fight interview, he did not mention a next fight, but instead said "If you're selling a house, hit me up." Since the night of the fight he has been vocally against some practices of UFC. On Fightful MMA's podcast, Pierson said Iaquinta is doing things the right way.
"That's someone who is maturing. Same deal I was in," said Pierson. "I was like 'what am I getting paid to do here? It's not financially worth the risk I'm putting my family through. I'm the bread winner of the family and I'm doing this.' Al Iaquinta, I'm sure he makes good money from real estate, he has a career goal there. And he's an athlete so you're always conflicted there," he continued
Pierson said he kept coming back due to his love of competing, but eventually had to put his family first.
"Because I'm an athlete and I love competing, I just kept coming back (to UFC). My dream was just to compete as a pro athlete. Well (Iaquinta) has been there done that and now he's like 'I need a paycheck.' To be honest he's being really smart right now, he's doing the Conor McGregor in a different way." said Pierson. "Rather it works or not, we don't know. But he's being very successful at fighting, he's exciting to watch. If he starts to disappear again, people are going to start to say 'what's going on?' If he can stay on social media, and keep this buzz going about himself, saying 'I'm not fighting again.' Just like Conor McGregor not competing for a year, he's in the media everyday because he wants to fight Mayweather. Maybe Iaquinta should call out Conor McGregor right now," he continued.
Pierson went on to talk about his distaste for UFC's fighter bonuses. Pierson claims he never got a fight of the night or performance bonus and feels like some of those bonuses and others undisclosed bonuses are going to UFC President Dana White's "friends and buddies." He said fighters get stuck in a "pipe dream" of being a millionaire.
Fightful MMA's podcast with Pierson airs Wednesdays.
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