Prominent mixed martial arts manager, Ali Abdelaziz has encouraged a potential middleweight title fight between reigning champion, Israel Adesanya, and his client, welterweight kingpin, Kamaru Usman – playing down the pair’s rematch.
Usman, who successfully defended his welterweight title for a fifth time back in November in a unanimous decision win against two-time opponent, Colby Covington, is expected to be sidelined until the summer after he recovers from a hand injury suffered in the weeks before UFC 268.
Expected to rematch the #3 ranked, Leon Edwards in his Octagon return, Usman’s manager, Abdelaziz confirmed that the Birmingham native would get a second crack at the Auchi native, however, despite a rather cordial relationship between his client and his middleweight title counterpart, Adesanya, Abdelaziz has urged the pair to fight in the future – playing down their relationship.
“The next victim is Leon Edwards,” Ali 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 (Usman) is gonna beat him. I want him to beat Leon Edwards and then I want him to fight Israel Adesanya for the middleweight title.”
“Listen, these guys, they’re cool but I don’t think they’re best friends,” Abdelaziz continued. “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 fo 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 (UFC) titles. I’m selfish, I’m greedy, and I think Kamaru deserves it….”
Abdelaziz then insisted that promotional leader, Dana White is interested in pitting the pair together in the future to boot.
“I know (Dana White) wants it, I want it,” Abdelaziz said. “It makes sense. It makes a lot of sense… 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 (Kamaru Usman and Israel Adesanya) need to call each other.” (Transcribed by Sherdog)
For Adesanya, the Nigerian-Kiwi is booked to headline UFC 271 on February 12. in a middleweight championship rematch against former champion, Robert Whittaker.
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