Robert Whittaker (L) and Israel Adesanya face off. Picture: Daniel Pockett/Getty
Robert Whittaker (L) and Israel Adesanya face off. Picture: Daniel Pockett/Getty

Adesanya shames Whittaker with cocky purse boast

ISRAEL Adesanya has stunningly claimed he is being paid more to headline UFC 243 than even hometown hero Robert Whittaker, saying: "Some guys just don't know what they're worth … I do".

Having already branded himself the A-Side of the biggest fight in Australian history, Adesanya doubled down by insisting he was "definitely" earning the bigger purse for Sunday's Marvel Stadium blockbuster.

The undefeated New Zealander would not reveal exact figures but suggested Whittaker go learn his worth, stressing he had proof showing the middleweight champ was earning less than his purse.

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Asked if he thought Whittaker, who will be defending for the first time on home soil knew this, Adesanya shrugged: "He does now.

"And he should. Because my team, we know.

"So he better step up his game, or give his (team) a kick up the arse.
"Some guys, they just don't know what they're worth.

"But I do."

Adesanya added that, apart from being a bigger draw than Whittaker, he was also doing far more to promote a blockbuster that has already sold close to 50,000 tickets for Melbourne's Marvel Arena.

Israel Adesanya. Picture: Richard Dobson
Israel Adesanya. Picture: Richard Dobson

"Rob has been quoted saying 'Oh, I don't have to sell this fight, I'll do my talking in the cage'," continued Adesanya, who is unbeaten in all 17 professional outings.

"He's said that I can promote the fight and he'll just show up.

"So I'm doing all the work.

"And if I'm doing all the f … ing work in this b ... h, I should definitely be paid more than him."

Asked if he was okay with doing the heavy lifting promotionally, the 30-year-old added that things would certainly be better if it were being treated "as a two-way street".

"Because you know," he said, "it takes two to tango".

The challenger added, by way of example, that the pair's most recent press conference in Melbourne would have been a complete bore were it not saved by a fan who, dressed in a Whittaker t-shirt, and shouting through a megaphone, engaged with the outspoken Kiwi.

"And if we didn't have Megaphone Guy - boring," Adesanya said. "So I'm glad he was there.

A Whittaker fan fires up at Adesanya. Picture: AAP/James Ross
A Whittaker fan fires up at Adesanya. Picture: AAP/James Ross

"My next fight though, I'll be taking on a Brazilian (No.1 contender Paulo Costa) who has already been going at me in broken English - going mah, mah, mah - so at least I won't have to beg him to dance.

"He'll dance with me before and during the fight."

Undoubtedly the most exciting UFC prospect anywhere right now, Adesanya has within little more than a year gone from virtual unknown to one of the most hyped fighters on the roster.

Better, he has won all six fights inside the Octagon - including a victory over Brazilian legend Anderson Silva and potential 2019 Fight Of The Year contender against American Kelvin Gastelum.

News Corp Australia


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