UFC middleweight champ Israel Adesanya believes Tyron Woodley’s willingness to fight him is a sign “he must be broke.”
The former welterweight champion has been out of the action of since his 2019 title loss to Kamaru Usman. However, he was supposed to fight top-ranked contender Leon Edwards in March in the main event of UFC London. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the event was ultimately canceled. According to ESPN reporter Ariel Helwani, fighters were only paid $20,000 for the foiled event.
Adesanya believes Woodley’s empty pockets are the reason he wants to fight him. The pair have thrown jabs at each other in a heated exchange online. Adesanya has also been called out by the light heavyweight champion Jon Jones. “The Last Stylebender,” told The Score that both fighters are reaching because they see a new “big dog” in the yard.
“To make it clear, these guys are calling me, Jones, Tyron,” Adesanya said. “I never once spoke their name, and then they said something about me. If you ever hear me say anything about them, it’s because they’ve said something about me that you may not have heard or you might not have seen.
“So they’re the ones who keep reaching out me because they know what’s up,” said Adesanya. “They know there’s a new dog in the yard. I’ve been saying it since day one, since [UFC] 221. But now they’re like ‘oh sh*t, this is the money fight I need, this is the big dog in the yard.’”
Woodley has also claimed he wants to fight a few more times at 170lbs before moving up to the middleweight division. The middleweight champion believes the 38-year old doesn’t care if he loses, as long as he gets a blockbuster matchup.
“Tyron is reaching because he is broke, or he’s about to be broke,” Adesanya said. “He’s like, ‘I need anyone that’s not Leon Edwards. Anyone that can be a big cash grab.’ Tyron would take an a*s whooping just to fight me as long as he gets paid good, put it that way.
“You should not be talking to me. You’re not a champion, so shut the f*ck up. The last Nigerian you faced, you faced him at 30% and he whooped your a*s. And three, we’re black, I thought we’re cool. I’ve met him before, we’ve had good banter, so why is this guy calling me out suddenly? I dissected it, and he’s reaching because he needs money. I just can’t see any other reason why he would do that.”
Do you think Tyron Woodley only wants to fight Israel Adesanya so he can earn a big payday?