Al Iaquinta is currently pitching for a contest with Dustin Poirier, but in case that does not happen, he wants to revive an old rivalry that could never materialize into a fight in the past.
The former one-time UFC Lightweight Challenger told MMA Fighting in the backstage at Submission Underground 11, that the Poirier matchup is "the fight to make", but he is ready to talk Paul Felder out of his retirement.
Iaquinta believes it is the fight fans want
Iaquinta has been pushing for a Poirier-fight for a while, and the ex-interim Champ seemed to have agreed with the idea initially, but only if the money and weight was right. However, replying to MMA Fighting's question via text on Monday, Poirier said that although UFC has been talking with him about fights, Iaquinta's name has never come up in the conversation.
If that is how things turn out, Iaquinta might get his long-due chance at Felder, whom he was supposed to meet at UFC 218 in a rebooking of a previously cancelled fight, but it never happened.
Felder, on the other hand, appeared very emotional when he hinted at his possible retirement from the Octagon post his defeat to Dan Hooker at UFC Auckland. He cited the pain of separation from his 4-year-old kid and his family as the reason behind his call, which made many think he really is serious about hanging up his fighting gloves.
However, Felder's team later made statements that his retirement talks were premature and were made in the heat of the moment. So Iaquinta's dream to fight him might still come true, and he believes it is what the fans have been wanting for a while as well.
"I know he had a rough one this past weekend, but if he does want to come back at some point, I think that's a good fight. I think the fans have wanted to see it for a while, and I'd like to mix it up with him."