The upcoming middleweight title fight between Robert Whittaker and Israel Adesanya is going to be big a one. The fight, scheduled for UFC 243 this Saturday in Australia, is being billed as the biggest fight in Oceanic history and is also generating massive attention in the Western Hemisphere.
Adesanya is taking full credit for that fact.
“If it was Rob or anyone else…it could be Robert/Romero part 3, it could be Rob and Chris Weidman, it could be Rob and anyone else, it would not be at Marvel Stadium,” Adesanya told Submission Radio (via MMA News). “It would not be in that kind of an echelon, that kind of a capacity, because it’s just Rob. But at the same time, this is me.”
Israel Adesanya claims that he’s being paid significantly more than Whittaker as the result the interest he’s generating.
“We have to just be honest. We can’t just lie about it,” Adesanya said. “I’ve been the one pushing the culture forward for fighting down here with my team. And he, unfortunately, hasn’t been because, unfortunately, he’s been pulling out sick.
“And that’s OK. I called in sick back in my old job once in a while. I know the vibes. But, yeah, I’m the one pushing the culture forward, so let’s put it this way: if it was anyone else with Rob, it would not be in Marvel stadium. It wouldn’t sell out the way it has been. But because it’s me, that’s why.
“There’s a reason why I’m getting paid more than him, substantially more than him,” Adesanya continued. “There’s a reason why my stock is much higher than him.”
Will you be tuning in for Robert Whittaker vs. Israel Adesanya this weekend?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 10/1/2019.