Al Iaquinta has pulled out of his recently announced headlining fight with Justin Gaethje at UFC Fight Night 135 in Lincoln, Nebraska on August 25th, though the exact reason why is unclear at this time.
“Def not happening,” Iaquinta confirmed on Twitter.
Iaquinta, who stepped in as a last-minute replacement to fight Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 223 in April (losing out by unanimous decision), also lashed out at Gaethje on social media after he claimed that he always knew that ‘Raging Al’ would “bitch out.”
“You’re the bitch you’ll fight anyone for anything,” Iaquinta responded. “Brain dead and broke in 2 years.”
Meanwhile, the UFC have been quick to find a replacement for Iaquinta, though they didn’t get the opponent they were first looking for, with ESPN’s Ariel Helwani claiming that Kevin Lee turned down the opportunity as he wanted more time to train for his next fight.
Instead, the UFC have now opted to bring in the in-form James Vick to fight Gaethje in the main event of the show.
The 31-year-old Vick is currently riding a four-fight winning streak in the lightweight division, defeating the likes of Abel Trujillo, Polo Reyes, Joe Duffy and most recently Francisco Trinaldo along the way.
Meanwhile, the 29-year-old Gaethje has seen his long winning streak come to an end in brutal fashion, suffering a KO loss to Eddie Alvarez followed by a TKO defeat against Eddie Alvarez.
However, the former WSOF champion remains No.7 in the rankings heading into this fight, while Vick is a few places behind at No.11.