Israel Adesanya is looking to cap off an incredible run atop the UFC’s dangerous middleweight division with a championship win over current king Robert Whittaker tomorrow night (Sat., Oct. 5, 2019) at UFC 243 live on ESPN+ PPV from inside Marvel Stadium in Melbourne, Australia.
If “Last Stylebender” is able to take out Whittaker and become the undefeated champion he’ll be well on his way to becoming one of the biggest stars in the sport today. After all, Adesanya made his Octagon debut just shy of two years ago. That’s incredibly impressive, especially considering the former kickboxer had just 11 professional fights to his name before testing the UFC ranks.
With greater success inside of the cage and more notoriety outside of it, “Last Stylebender” stands to earn a little extra cash for his efforts. It may come as a surprise that Adesanya is aiming to make Conor McGregor money during his UFC career, but the undefeated Nigerian fighter has been aiming for the stars ever since he got to the big show. Taking a stab at a $100 million payday isn’t a bad idea, especially when he’s on the cusp of UFC gold.
“I’ll make that purse in MMA, guaranteed. I’ll make that purse in the UFC,” Adesanya told MMA Fighting. “You can make $100 million in the UFC. You don’t have to go to boxing. Only Mayweather is going to make that. Only McGregor is going to make that, when he fought Mayweather, so that’s the Mayweather effect.
“That’s going to happen in the UFC. I guarantee you. I might be the first to do it in the UFC.”
Adesanya, 30, actually competed in boxing from 2014-2015, compiling a 5-1 professional record in the process. He certainly didn’t earn Mayweather money during his time inside of the squared circle, but he made a successful run in yet another combat sport.
While “Last Stylebender” is hoping to earn the most money possible during his MMA career, his journey in the sport isn’t entirely based around green paper and presidential heads. Instead, Adesanya is hoping to create an everlasting legacy in UFC and prove he’s one of the best to ever do it.
“It’s not about the money at the end of the day,” said Adesanya. “I’m doing this for legacy. This is where I’m going to end my career. I don’t want to fight the baddest motherf—ers in the world and then go fight some guy and (say) ‘oh we’ll duke it out but we’re only using our hands!’ I’ve got to kick someone in the face!”
Only time will tell if Adesanya has what it takes to hand Whittaker his first loss at 185 pounds and walk out of UFC 243 with the undisputed middleweight title. If he’s able to do that then bigger paydays and greater legacies are surely in store for the ultra-impressive striker.
MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 243 fight card below, starting with the Fight Pass/ESPN+ “Prelims” matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. ET, then the remaining undercard balance on ESPN2 at 8 p.m. ET, before the PPV main card start time at 10 p.m. ET on ESPN+.
To find out who else is competing at UFC 243 click here.