Adesanya might be among the best paid fighters in the promotion but he certainly hasn’t forgotten where he came from. Adesanya reportedly struggled a great deal and was unsure how he would pay his rent when he signed with the UFC.
“I remember just looking at this corner store and I was like, ‘I wish I could go in there and be like, ‘Look, just give me the money you have, I don’t want to hurt you, just give me.” Adesanya said.
Luckily, his morale got the better of him after a few seconds of pondering the thought. The 32-year-old Nigerian native also said he understood why people succumb to a life of crime.
“It was a fleeting thought and that made me empathize with people, this is why some of them do it. They just have no other choice.” Adesanya added.
Adesanya admitted that his family have helped him through hard times.
“This is one thing I loved about my parents, they always supported (me)… And a friend like Corbin as well, who was always in the clutch for me as well. People like that I keep around and I hold them dearly.” Adesanya said on All Goats TV.
But he’s also not scared to shine a spotlight on the issue. During a recent press conference Adesanya urged fighters to see better pay.
“It takes time,” Adesanya said.
“You know, with Francis — also, you have to look at it this way: fighters are like strippers. We’re independent contractors. So, everyone’s out for themselves. “
“But there comes a point when we need to come together as fighters in the UFC and make an agreement like, ‘What can we do to help the baseline for the younger guys who just got into the UFC?’
“This is a prestigious position, to be a UFC fighter. It can’t just be — I don’t live in America, so (don’t know) if it’s the same with NBA, NFL. The drafts, it’s a big deal, right?”
“I feel like that’s how the UFC is. You make it to the UFC, it’s a f*cking big deal. So, we need to get paid like it’s a f*cking big deal. I’m getting paid, a few of us are getting paid, but I’m talking about the guys who are just getting to the UFC.”
Previously, Adesanya was vocal about how pay is a huge issue and called $12,000 contracts embarrassing.
“I’m not saying pay debutants some crazy money. I’m just saying pay them enough to be able to train, feed their family and not have a second or third job.”