Israel Adesanya is one of the 3 African UFC Champions. Adesanya – who is of Nigerian origin and is currently residing in New Zealand recently reacted to the statements Kamaru Usman’s manager had made.
Usman’s notorious manager Ali Abdelaziz manages pretty much half the UFC roster and is suspected to be very friendly with the UFC brass. He recently made comments that Usman should fight Adesanya – and not aspire to go 2 weight classes higher and face the light heavyweight champion. This is a notion his manager didn’t appreciate as he was quoted saying.
“I want him to beat Leon Edwards, and I want (him) to go fight Israel Adesanya (for) the middleweight title,” Abdelaziz told TMZ.
“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.
“This (has) nothing to do with loyalty. Because these guys, it’s not like they’re training partners, like brothers. They’re African brothers, and it holds a lot of value, being African, because I’m African, too.”
These comments were condemned in Adesanya’s camp.
The champion himself has criticized Abdelaziz for his comments.
He said, “Kamaru can speak for himself, and he has, and I’ve spoken for myself. We said we wouldn’t fight each other. This for me, personally, it’s bigger than money.”
“Also, I have nothing to gain, like, it’s the guy coming up from the lower weight class that looks to challenge himself that’s the, almost the protagonist of the story that gets to you know, rise to the occasion and that’s cool, but Kamaru is not interested.”
“Ali is just greedy, you know, he sees dollar signs but I’m like dude you can make that money elsewhere but he’s just super greedy and, yeah for me, it’s bigger than money, you know.”
And if you think Adesanya is wrong to call Abdelaziz greedy – you should know that there are rumors that certain management companies focussing on MMA take as much as 30% from some of the fighters on their roster.
Ali Abdelaziz in one gif pic.twitter.com/cJdSrMYNjj
— Jack Slack (@JackSlackMMA) November 3, 2021
If you are an MMA Manager your job is not to sign up as many fighters as possible so you can take 10%-33% of earnings from the biggest possible pool of clients.
Your job is to look after your fiduciary duty to the (hopefully few) athletes you truly represent.
— Erik Magraken (@erikmagraken) January 24, 2022