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Israel Adesanya reveals he just signed his UFC 271 bout agreement, explains problem with fight announcement

It turns out Israel Adesanya arrived in Houston for his fight against Robert Whittaker without signing his actual bout agreement for UFC 271.

The UFC middleweight champion revealed the news on Wednesday after he finally put pen to paper on the contract while also signing a lucrative overall new multi-fight deal with the promotion.

“Look, I love the UFC,” Adesanya said during UFC 271 media day. “I’ve looked at this company and wanted to be in this company for so long. I love that we’ve gotten to this agreement finally.

“Side note, I just signed for this actual bout this week. Let you know how deep it went, but I’m glad we came to this agreement. I’m glad we have a good working relationship. Like I said, with everything happening right now, this will trickle down to the rest of the fighters, and it’s only going to be great for the company. Just give it time.”

Sources close to Adesanya had previously confirmed to MMA Fighting that while the rematch with Whittaker was agreed upon in principle, the actual contract hadn’t been signed.

At the time, the fight was announced by the UFC, Adesanya posted a cap emoji, which seemed to say that he was denying the deal was actually done for the rematch with Whittaker.

In reality, the 32-year-old champion said his problem wasn’t that the fight got announced before he signed but rather the manner the UFC went about dropping that news.

“I just didn’t like the way [it was announced],” Adesanya said. “When I asked the next day, I was like ‘did you guys see the announcement?’ and they’re like ‘what announcement?’ No one saw the announcement.

“I’m like bro, this is not how you announce a fight of this magnitude and that’s because we’re doing some dealings in the back at the moment so I just felt like the people doing that bit in the UFC dropped the ball.”

In his opinion, Adesanya would have liked to see the UFC put a little more promotion behind the announcement. When a major fight officially gets booked, highlight reels are aired during events.

“You make a little teaser trailer and then you have [Joe] Rogan, [Jon] Anik and [Daniel Cormier] riff about it right after the trailer before the main event,” Adesanya said. “Do I have to do your job for you? I could do it on my phone like literally I can chop it up real quick.

“But yeah, I was just like what the f*ck kind of announcement is that? Just a little banner like, ‘OK that’s it?’ No, you don’t do that for a championship fight of this magnitude when it’s in Texas. Everything’s bigger in Texas, right? There’s better ways to do that. So that was me expressing myself with a little cap emoji.”

Regardless of that particular issue, Adesanya admits he was very happy to hash out the details of his new deal with the UFC to get that signed, sealed and delivered prior to his fight.

While he wasn’t going to reveal any financial details about the contract, Adesanya said the UFC really showed him how much he was worth to them, especially now that he believes he’s the second highest paid fighter on the entire roster behind only Conor McGregor.

“The thing I want to know is what’s my value to the company?” Adesanya said. “You can’t undersell my value. If you are, you’re kidding yourself. I bring so many different looks to this company, even without trying. I’m Nigerian. I’ve brought that whole nation. Me and the three kings, the continent of Africa is on our back, I wear it on my chest. We have the Oceana region looking at us. I’m a guy who crosses over into the mainstream so easily. I have this appeal. I’ve got that it thing.

“I’m glad the UFC is starting to see that. They’ve already known that. They’ve known that since the jump. Dana [White] knew this since the jump, but yeah, I’m just a guy who deals with my dealings with the UFC behind the scenes, and I’m glad we came to an agreement with this new deal. I look forward to this effect trickling down to the rest of the fighters.”

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