UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya has no interest in fighting his friend and fellow Nigerian Kamaru Usman, and he thinks the welterweight champion's manager needs to knock off any more talk about that possibility.
Over the last five-plus years, UFC champions attempting to hold titles in two divisions has become trendy. Future promotion Hall-of-Famers Conor McGregor, Amanda Nunes, Daniel Cormier, and Henry Cejudo have all achieved the feat in that time. So it should come as no surprise that there's been talk of welterweight titlist Usman (20-1) possibly making a jump up in division for a second belt. Especially because he has dominantly lapped 170-pound weight class as champion.
However, it is public knowledge that he and middleweight king Adesanya (21-1) have bonded as elite talents in the sport, and as men who share Nigerian heritage. Despite both having brushed off the idea of a fight between the two in the past, there has been a recent push by Usman's manager Ali Abdelaziz for a super-fight between the reigning champions.
Israel Adesanya tells Ali Abdelaziz to knock off talk about a fight against Kamaru Usman
In a Thursday interview with ">BT Sport, Adesanya was asked about the Dominance MMA boss's recent tweets on the topic. Yet, despite the desire for his client to cash in with a big payday and make history against his friend, "The Last Stylebender" says the influential manager needs to pipe down in regards to an Adesanya vs Usman fight.
"It's been on record, I said I wouldn't want it. He said he doesn't want it, but you know you don't always get what you want, so Ali should just be quiet once in a while. He talks too much a little bit," Adesanya said. "He knows how to contact me directly if he wants to speak to me. He doesn't have to go on Twitter ever. I don't know why the guy does that. He can just talk to me directly if he needs to.
But yea, it's been on record me, and Kamaru said we don't desire to do that because it's bigger than money. It's bigger than just us. It's for a whole nation. So f*ck what Ali's saying."
Adesanya wants to fight for UFC light heavyweight gold again
Adesanya is not unfamiliar with the notion of being a champ-champ. He actually attempted to become one in March of 2021. However, he came up short via unanimous decision in his bid to dethrone then-light heavyweight champion Jan Blachowicz at UFC 259. Although he failed in his first attempt, the New Zealand resident says he plans to go for 205-pound gold again in the future.
"Yea, that's another side mission I'll attempt later on down the track. But right now I'm focused on 185. This is my division so yea, I'm gonna rule it," he said.
Adesanya will compete in the pay-per-view main event of UFC 271 on Saturday night, where he will look to defend his title for a fourth straight time in a rematch against former division king Robert Whittaker.