Welterweight champion Kamaru Usman’s manager Ali Abdelaziz has indicated his interest in having his client step up for a superfight with middleweight kingpin Israel Adesanya.
“The next victim is Leon Edwards,” Abdelaziz told TMZ Sports. “Great fighter but he will get finished under three rounds. Fact. It’s gonna happen. The welterweight division in the UFC right now is very interesting. Kamaru is gonna beat him. I want him to beat Leon Edwards and then I want him to go fight Israel Adesanya for the middleweight title.”
Usman and Adesanya have always appeared to have a good relationship, having bonded over the fact that they were both born in Nigeria, yet had risen to become champions in the UFC, but Abdelaziz believes that if the offer was right then they would be willing to square off against each other in the Octagon.
“Listen, these guys, they’re cool but I don’t think they’re best friends,” Abdelaziz said. “If there is 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 or brothers. They’re African brothers and that holds a lot of value … but at the end of the day, I’m Kamaru Usman’s team all the way. I want to see Kamaru Usman, before the end of the road, have two titles. I’m selfish, I’m greedy, and I think Kamaru deserves it….
“I know Dana wants it, I want it, it makes sense. It makes a lot of sense. Israel Adesanya goes up to fight for light heavyweight division (title). Israel did not accomplish what Kamaru accomplished. There’s no way. Not to take anything away from Israel. I think there is enough money for these two guys that (they) would fight. I want to see this fight now. I think fans want it, I want it. I think these two men need to call each other… Mike Tyson told me this: ‘If they’re real brothers, they should fight for them to make money.’”
It would certainly be a mouth-prospect to have the current No.1 pound-for-pound fighter in the sport, Usman, face off against the No.3, Adesanya, but both still have big challenges ahead of them before this superfight could even become a possibility.
Adesanya is first up as he’s been booked to rematch Robert Whittaker at UFC 271 in February, while Usman is expected to fight Leon Edwards next, though a landing place for that match-up hasn’t been established yet.
Beyond that there’s also a big question mark as to whether Usman is on the same page as Abdelaziz as it wasn’t all that long ago that he seemed to be singing a different tune.
“As long as Israel is the champion there, it‘s not really something that interests me,” Usman had told reporters after UFC 268. “Unless Dana (White) wants to give us a hundred million dollars. Then me and Israel need to have a serious talk. Like, ‘hey, we want to do 50 apiece or what?’ But right now that doesn‘t really interest me. I meant what I said: two Nigerians with belts is more important to me than one Nigerian with two belts.”