No amount of money will ever convince Israel Adesanya to fight current UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman.
Adesanya, the reigning UFC middleweight champ, said his friendship with Usman is ‘bigger than money’ and that he has nothing to gain from fighting his fellow Nigerian in a super fight.
“Kamaru can speak for himself and he has, and I’ve spoken for myself and we said we wouldn’t fight each other,” Adesanya told TSN’s Aaron Bronsteter in a recent interview (h/t MMA Junkie). “For me personally, it’s bigger than money. Also, I have nothing to gain. It’s the guy coming up from a lower-weight class that looks to challenge himself that’s almost the protagonist of the story. That gets to rise to the occasion and that’s cool, but Kamaru’s not interested.”
Adesanya then put Usman’s ‘greedy’ manager Ali Abdelaziz on blast for suggesting the matchup in the first place.
“Ali is just greedy. He sees dollar signs, but I’m like you can make that money elsewhere. But he’s just super greedy and for me, it’s bigger than money,” Adesanya said.
Usman himself has ruled out a fight against Adesanya and has teased the idea of moving up two weight classes to fight Glover Teixeira for the light heavyweight title instead.
Adesanya tried his luck at 205 lbs. in 2021 but came up short against then light-heavyweight champ Jan Blachowciz at UFC 259. He lost the fight via unanimous decision.
‘The Last Stylebender’ will return to the Octagon to defend his middleweight title against Robert Whittaker at UFC 271 on Saturday, Feb. 12 at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas.
About the author