Israel Adesanya backs Aldo, silent on Usman ahead of UFC 278

UFC Middleweight Champion Israel Adesanya shared his prediction for UFC 278.

Adesanya made a surprising move by backing  Brazilian Jose Aldo in his upcoming bout with Merab Dvalishvili by betting nearly $8000 on Aldo with a potential payout of more than double the amount.

Despite being a part of the African brotherhood, Adesanya has decided to not publicize if he’s supporting Kamaru Usman against Leon Edwards.

The so called African brotherhood is comprised of the trio of African UFC champions – Francis Ngannou, Israel Adesanya and Kamaru Usman. While Ngannou is often confused for Nigerian, he’s actually Cameroonian and is the only one that spent a significant part of his life in Africa. Adesanya immigrated to New Zealand and Kamaru Usman famously immigrated to Nebraska where he went by Marty Usman on the wrestling team.

Adesanya was previously quoted saying:

“the biggest threat to Kamaru’s throne is Leon Edwards. I’m going with Kamaru because of his momentum right now, also I know how hard he works.”

Usman’s manager previously tried to create a rift in the African brotherhood by insisting Usman should move up to middleweight to contend for the title. While Usman shot down those claims he is looking to move to Light heavyweight at some undetermined point in future.

Another possibility is that Adesanya is making a secret prop bet on Usman aking to what he did when he bet on Francis Ngannou takedown strategy against Cyril Gane.

Adesanya bet that Ngannou would be able to perform more than one takedown against Ngannou despite having only one takedown in his entire career prior to UFC 270.

It should be noted that this is one of the only bets Adesanya publicized without the name of the betting house or the amount he stood to gain  – making it the rare genuine wager. It’s safe to assume that his frequent tweets about his wagers are all part of a promotional deal – and are likely covered by the so called ‘sponsorship’ to begin with diminishing the risk for Adesanya.

Rapper Drake is commonly advertising the same place with some huge bets that regularly make the news.

On Stake’s official website there’s a page dedicated to Drake titled ‘Journey from a Player to a Partner’. It features a number of social media posts made by the singer promoting their business.

While Drake didn’t disclose this was an ad or that he partnered with Stake – even his instagram profile features Stake tagged.

Another interesting thing to note about this most likely sponsored tweet is that the match up had some interesting movement on the odds.

As you can see Aldo started out as the favorite but as the even tneared the odds actually turned against him with Dvalishvili as the favorite. The odds have practically completely reversed which isn’t that common in MMA to begin with but it might’ve incentivized the company to promote this particular match up.

Israel Adesanya is considered to be one of the most dominant champions of this generation and he’ll be able to prove himself again when he defends his tilte in the main event of UFC 281. He’ll be taking on his long time rival Alex Pereira who previously defeated him in kickboxing events.