It turns out Israel Adesanya arrived in Houston for his fight against Robert Whittaker without ever signing his actual bout agreement for UFC 271.
The UFC Middleweight Champion announced the results on Wednesday, after signing the new contract and a multi-fight lucrative deal.
“Look, I love the UFC,” Adesanya said during UFC 271 media day. I’ve been looking at this company, and have wanted to work for it since the beginning. I love that we’ve gotten to this agreement finally.
” Side note: I signed this bout in person this week. We’ll let you know the details, but it was a good agreement. I’m glad we have a good working relationship. Like I said, with everything happening right now, this will trickle down to the rest of the fighters and it’s only going to be great for the company. Just give it time.”
Sources close to Adesanya had previously confirmed to MMA Fighting that while the rematch with Whittaker was agreed upon in principle, the actual contract hadn’t been signed.
At UFC’s announcement of the fight, Adesanya used a cap emoticon to indicate that he denied the agreement was made for Whittaker’s rematch.
In reality, the 32-year-old champion said his problem wasn’t that the fight got announced before he signed but rather the manner the UFC went about dropping that news.
“I just didn’t like the way [it was announced],” Adesanya said. “When I asked the next day, I was like ‘did you guys see the announcement?’ and they’re like ‘what announcement?’ No one saw the announcement.
” I’m sorry bro. This isn’t how you announce fights of this magnitude. That’s because there are some deals in the back right now so it just seemed like people in UFC lost the ball .”
In his opinion, Adesanya would have liked to see the UFC put a little more promotion behind the announcement, which happens quite often when a major fight officially gets booked.
” You make a teaser trailer, and then you have [Joe] Rogan and [Jon] Anik. [Daniel Cormier] The riff is right after the main event,” Adesanya stated. “Do I have to do your job for you? It could be done on my smartphone. I’m able to chop it up really quickly.
“But yeah, I was just like what the f*ck kind of announcement is that? A banner that says OK, and that’s all. No, you don’t do that for a championship fight of this magnitude when it’s in Texas. Everything’s bigger in Texas, right? There’s better ways to do that. That was my attempt to express myself using a little cap-emoji
Regardless of this particular concern, Adesanya says he was happy to work out details for his UFC deal to have it signed and sealed before he fights.
While he wasn’t going to reveal any financial details about the contract, Adesanya says the UFC really showed him how much he was worth to them, especially now that he believes he’s the second highest paid fighter on the entire roster behind only Conor McGregor.
” “What’s my contribution to the company?” Adesanya stated. You can’t underestimate my value. If you are, you’re kidding yourself. This company has so many faces that I can bring to it, and even though they don’t know what to expect. I’m Nigerian. I’ve brought that whole nation. Me and the three kings, the continent of Africa is on our back, I wear it on my chest. We have the Oceana region looking at us. I’m a guy who crosses over into the mainstream so easily. I have this appeal. I’ve got that it thing.
” I’m happy that the UFC has begun to recognize this. They’ve already known that. They’ve known that since the jump. Dana [White] had known this from the jump, but I was just an ordinary guy dealing with UFC matters behind the scenes. I am glad that we reached this agreement. This effect will hopefully trickle down to all the other fighters .”