MMA fighting

Morning Report: Kamaru Usman manager wants Usman to face Israel Adesanya ‘if there’s enough money’

Last week we learned that UFC welterweight champion and current best pound-for-pound fighter in the sport Kamaru Usman, was considering jumping up to 205 pounds to challenge Jan Blachowicz for the heavyweight title. light. Well, now Usman’s manager hopes ‘The Nigerian Nightmare’ is aiming a bit lower, at 185 pounds to be exact.

Speaking to TMZ Sports, Ali Abdelaziz discussed what’s next for his client, saying the first Usman will defend his welterweight title against Leon Edwards. But after that matter was taken care of, Abdelaziz said he hopes Usman will finally move up to middleweight to chase his second UFC belt.

“The next victim is Leon Edwards,” Abdelaziz said. “Great fighter but he will finish in three rounds. Done. It will happen. The UFC welterweight division is very interesting right now. Kamaru is going to beat him. I want him to beat Leon Edwards and then I want him to go fight Israel Adesanya for the middleweight title.

Usman has spent his entire career at welterweight and has been surprisingly successful at it. After winning the UFC welterweight title in 2019, Usman has since won five successful title defenses and established himself as one of the all-time greats in MMA history. His dominance at welterweight led many fans to ask Usman to run for the middleweight title, however, Usman’s relationship with current champion Israel Adesanya prevented that from happening. Usman and Adesanya were both born in Nigeria and forged a friendship from their shared backgrounds, with Usman saying he would only compete against Adesanya if the UFC threw an exorbitant amount of money at them. Well, Abdelaziz seems to think there is a price to pay for the fight to happen and it is more achievable than many realize.

“Look, these guys, they’re cool but I don’t think they’re best friends,” Abdelaziz said. “If there’s enough money for the two of them to fight, they’ll fight in the parking lot. I know how people work. It has nothing to do with loyalty, because these guys, it’s not like they’re sparring partners or brothers. They are African brothers and that has a lot of value… but at the end of the day, I’m following 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 is going up to fight for the light heavyweight division (title). Israel hasn’t accomplished what Kamaru has done. There’s no way. Take nothing away from Israel. I think there’s enough money for these two guys (they) to fight. I want to see this fight now. I think the fans want it, I want it. I think these two men should be called… Mike Tyson told me this: ‘If they’re real brothers, they should fight to make money.’

But before Abdelaziz or the UFC can get ahead, both men have title defenses to deal with. Although no date is currently set, Usman is expected to defend his welterweight belt against Leon Edwards later this year. Meanwhile, Adesanya is set to face Robert Whittaker at UFC 271 on February 12.

Results. Ryan Bader successfully defended his Bellator heavyweight title with a unanimous decision victory over Valentin Moldavsky.

Results. Khabib Nurmagomedov’s Eagle FC made their United States debut with Sergei Kharitonov and Rashad Evans picking up wins.

Following. Benson Henderson is unsure about the future of MMA after ending his contract with the Bellator 273 win.

Beef. Jake Paul explains diss track, blasts Dana White for legal threats, “pure disrespect” involving Francis Ngannou.

$$$. Tyson Fury is expected to earn over $32 million for the heavyweight title defense against Dillian Whyte.

Ryan Bader’s post-fight press conference.

Scott Coker’s post-fight press conference.

Jake Paul diss track.

Khamzat Chimaev training.

Free fight.

The GOAT and Henry Cejudo.

Tony Ferguson warming up with Ali Abdelaziz.

Corey Anderson has ideas for moving up a weight class.

MMA cradles with Sean Strickland.

Kevin Holland takes on the IRL trolls.



Missed opportunity.

Conor plans to get sober to train for combat.

Micha Cirkunov (15-7) against Wellington Tourman (17-5); UFC Vegas 48, February 26.

Paul Craig (15-4-1) against Nikita Krylov (26-8); UFC London, March 19.

Kay Hansen (7-5) against Piera Rodriguez (7-0); UFC 273, April 9.

Donald Cerrone (36-16) against Joe Lauzon (28-15); UFC Fight Night, April 30.

Hooper hunting (10-2-1) against Felipe Colares (10-3); UFC Fight Night, May 21.

Thanks for reading and see you tomorrow.


Should Bellator have booked Bader against Fedor next?

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