UFC champion Kamaru Usman says he will never fight fellow Nigerian Israel Adesanya
Usman says he will never fight his brother Israel Adesanya.
Usman and Adesanya are currently the two fighters flying the Nigerian flag in the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) which is the biggest MMA promotion company in the world.
Although they are American and New Zealander respectively, the two fighters grew up in Nigeria and hugely identity with their Nigerian root which has connected them.
It’s because of their friendship that Usman has ruled out ever fighting Adesanya.
The 32-year-old revealed this during an interview on the ‘JRE MMA Show’ podcast with UFC commentator Joe Rogan while discussing the possibilities of a match-up with fighters from other divisions just like Conor McGregor who just became the first UFC fighter to hold knockout finishes in the Featherweight, Lightweight, and Welterweight divisions with his recent victory over Donald Cerrone.
Lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov has also been touted to fight in the Welterweight division but Usman says he will also not face the Russian.
“I would never fight Khabib – that’s my brother,” Usman said.
“It’s just a mutual respect. I don’t see myself ever fighting Khabib.
“I don’t see myself ever fighting Israel (Adesanya), even though a lot of people have hinted toward it. I don’t see myself fighting him.
“Having two belts in Nigeria is better than just having one guy hold two belts. There’s no desire there. That’s my guy. He’s special.”
He went on to praise Adesanya who is the current Middleweight champion and tipped his compatriot to be a global superstar.
“He's special. He will be a superstar globally,” Usman said.
Also in the interview, Usman revealed that he recently received news that his father is set to be released from prison. Muhammed Usman has been serving a 15-year-old prison term since 2010 after he was found guilty of running health care fraud with his local ambulance company.
Also in the interview, the Nigerian-American says his target is to make $250 in career earnings.
“I think at that point, it's generational wealth. It's something that my kids' kids would live off from,” he said.