With Gilbert Melendez having been removed from his fight against Al Iaquinta at UFC Fight Night 71 next week due to a failed drug test, ‘Raging Al’ has also now also been taken off the card.
There had initially been hopes that Iaquinta could have remained in the co-main event spot for the San Diego show, but with so little time remaining they were unable to come up with a suitable stand-in.
As a result Iaquinta has decided to take the time to get an issue with his knee taken care of, though in an interview with The MMA Hour yesterday he admitted that he was frustrated that he wouldn’t be able to fight.
“I don’t know what I want to do,” Iaquinta told Ariel Helwani. “I want to break something. I want to slam my head on the desk again. I don’t know. I’m just disappointed. I can’t describe it, man. I was ready to go. It was a perfect fight for me stylistically. I brought in guys who really had a good style and I’ve been doing great with the sparring, so it’s just, I don’t know, I’m just frustrated right now, man. I’m real frustrated.”
Iaquinta had been on a four-fight winning streak heading into this fight and is currently placed at No.12 in the official rankings, so he’d seen a fight with Melendez as a potential stepping stone into the lightweight division’s top 10.
With Iaquinta out, Josh Thomson Vs Tony Ferguson moves up to co-main event duties, while the headline attraction remains the heavyweight bout between Frank Mir and Todd Duffee.