Now a four-time title defending champion and signed to a new major deal with the UFC, surely financial hardship isn’t on the course for Adesanya.
However, before he got his chance with The Ultimate Fighting Championship, Adesanya experienced less than desirable contracts with other fight promotions.
He claims there was only $300 in his bank account at the time. This was mostly due to a company in China breaching their contract with him.
“The company that I was working in China f***** me over cause I had seven fights left in my contract, each fight at that time was like $25,000. And they just stopped giving me fights. I was like ‘what about the contract I need fights’,” said Adesanya, according to Mirror.
He credits MMA clothing line and products site Engage for getting him through the rough patch.
“So, I went to the UFC. Shout out to Engage though, they came in the clutch at that time. This was around my UFC debut at around November 2017. I wouldn’t have rent for either the next week or the week after,” Adesanya continued.
Friends and family also pulled through to help the future champ.
“This is one thing I loved about my parents, they always supported me. I hated going to them and asking ‘can you pay me this’ but I always did. And a friend like Corbin [close friend of Adesanya] as well, who was always in the clutch for me as well. People like that I keep around and I hold them dearly,” The champ explained.
Next Up For Adesanya
The middleweight champ signed a multi-fight deal with the UFC before his second battle against Robert Whittaker.
Whittaker thought he had the arsenal geared up to defeat Adesanya, but came up short in the decision. At such a close match, and “Bobby Knuckles” claiming to be the only fighter with the potential to take him down, a trilogy may be in store for the future.
That being said, there are others in the division that are hungry to be part of Israel Adesanya’s next fight.
For example, Jared Cannonier viciously beat Derek Brunson out of a title shot on the night of Adesanya vs. Whittaker 2. Cannonier now stands at number 2 in the middleweight rankings, just under Whittaker.
What are your thoughts on Israel Adesanya’s financial struggle before signing with the UFC?