$50m could tempt Kamaru Usman to fight “blood brother” Israel Adesanya
UFC welterweight champion of the world, Kamaru Usman, has no interest in ever getting into a fight with his “blood brother” Israel Adesanya but the ‘Nigerian Nightmare’ says he and ‘The Last Stylebender’ could be tempted to slug it out in the octagon if both of them stand to earn $50 million from the fight.
The 34-year-old Usman has plenty of challenges still ahead of him, and has spoken a lot about moving to a higher weight class, but unless 32-year-old Adesanya is no longer champion, fighting for the UFC middleweight title isn’t among them.
On the mend following hand surgery and targeting a summertime UFC return, Usman addressed the possibility of moving up to 185 pounds on Wednesday, continuing a conversation that began after he recently revealed that he briefly considered challenging for the UFC light heavyweight title while Jan Blachowicz was still champion.
Blachowicz remains the only man to have beaten Adesanya in the UFC after the Nigerian middleweight decided to test his skills against the UFC’s bigger guns.
“I’ve said it before, as long as Israel Adesanya is the champion, I have no interest in going there,” Usman said on Wednesday in an interview with Jim Rome. “But when Jan Blachowicz was the champion at light heavyweight, of course, I thought it was a great matchup.
“I’m not saying I would just demolish the whole light heavyweight division. I’m saying I thought that was a great matchup, and I thought that I would have been a two-time champion, and skipping middleweight and becoming the light heavyweight champion.”
While the chance to face Blachowicz never came to fruition, Usman doubled down on the notion that he would never attempt to take Adesanya’s title away. The two may not be training partners, but Usman has long considered Adesanya a friend, and the only way he’d entertain the fight is if the UFC put up a massive sum of money that neither fighter could ignore.
“I’ve said it before, Adesanya’s a fellow Nigerian. A good guy. I like him, I like his approach. I’ve said it — I’d rather two Nigerians have belts than one Nigerian with two belts.
“If [UFC President] Dana [White] is willing to sit us down and say, $100 million, ‘Hey guys, let’s split this up,’ at that point Israel and I would have to talk. Because at that point, my little brother, my blood brother, we would have to talk and say, ‘Hey, let’s go out here and make this money.’”