Middleweight champion Israel Adesanya weighs in for UFC 271. | Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images
“We don’t want this fight, because it’s bigger than us.”
Dominance MMA founder and manager to many MMA stars Ali Abdelaziz recently spoke to TMZ about what he referred to as a “selfish” idea. In that interview, he suggested a possible super fight between UFC champions Israel Adesanya and Kamaru Usman.
“I want him to beat Leon Edwards, and I want (him) to go fight Israel Adesanya (for) the middleweight title,” Abdelaziz said of Usman.
“At the end of the day, I don’t think these guys… they’re cool, but I don’t think they’re, like, best friends. If (there’s) enough money for both of them to fight, they will fight in the parking lot. I know how people work.”
Adesanya was a recent guest on The MMA Hour where he had the chance to address Abdelaziz’s statements. Long story short, he wasn’t too pleased by them.
“I’m like, what the f–k is this peanut head talking about? Because I’ve gone on record saying I don’t want this fight,” Adesanya told Ariel Helwani. “We don’t want this fight, because it’s bigger than us. I understand where he’s coming from, don’t get me wrong.
“I understand where he’s coming from. But you can make tens of millions other ways. There’s so many other fights you can make. But he said he’s being selfish — I’m like, fair enough. And also, he just needs to give his fighters their phone back, like Kamaru has said because sometimes he gets on there and starts to talk all this rubbish.”
Usman already shut down the possibility of fighting Adesanya because as he told Joe Rogan, “having two belts in Nigeria is better than having one guy holding two belts.” Adesanya shares a similar sentiment.
“This fight is not just going to happen just because, ‘Oh, it needs to happen, we need to see it.’ Nah, it’s bigger than us,” he said. “The great nation of Africa, we’ve got three people who are champions right now and defending and ruling their divisions with iron black fists. This is legendary.
“They’re going to talk about this in history. Not sports history, they’re going to talk about this in sports history and just history in general. So why try and [ruin it]? We’re going to divide and conquer. So, Kamaru is his own person, Kamaru tells him when to f–k off too.”
Adesanya clarified that there is no rift between him and Abdelaziz. It’s just that the latter’s recent comments really rubbed him the wrong way.
“When I see Ali, he’s going to be cordial, he’s going to be nice,” Adesanya said. “He’s never [not], there’s no static. He’s just doing his job. But that? Eugene knows how we feel about that.”
“The way peanut head did it was just disgusting, and Eugene kind of expressed how we do it in our gym and the code that we have. And like I said, me and Kamaru definitely feel the same way. What’s the point? This is bigger than us. Kids are going to look at us generations from now and be like, ‘Those guys from Nigeria, they did that. They ruled. They ruled this whole thing until they left, and the left on top.’
“Same with Francis as well. So yeah, I don’t know why he [did that]. And he always comes up to me, ‘Oh, my brother. My African brother,’ this and that. So I’m like, why? If you’re supposed to be a ‘brother, brother,’ why are you trying to be selfish now and look at the dollar signs?”
Adesanya is about ten days removed from his fourth middleweight title defense against Robert Whittaker at UFC 271. He’d also just inked a new multi-fight deal with the UFC in what’s been deemed as “one of the most lucrative” signings “in company history.”