24 hours out of UFC 234, Israel Adesanya thought he was competing in the co-main event of the Melbourne card. UFC middleweight champion Robert Whittaker was going to make the big money in the headliner, considering he has pay-per-view points in his contract, as most champions do.
Then just like that, Whittaker’s fight with Kelvin Gastelum was off because of a hernia. Adesanya’s bout with Anderson Silva was on top now.
So after Adesanya’s big win, he showed up at the post-fight press conference and had a pretty valid financial question - if Whittaker didn’t fight, who gets that money? Does the UFC keep it?
“The pay-per-view points, where do they go? What happens to them? I’m just wondering. Maybe I’ll have to sit down with Dana and make him talk because that’s a lot of money being left on the table and it stays in the hands of the dealer when I’ve done my bit. I showed up to work. Unfortunately, it was out of Rob’s hand. It wasn’t in his control.
“The controller was in Player One’s hands. I showed up to work today. I clocked in. I came early to watch them do battle and I stayed late so I can do all this stuff, as well.”
“I’m working my ass off. I feel like, man, I don’t know what the buyrates are because it wasn’t really my main event. It wasn’t really my show. They put me in the regular hotel. I didn’t get the main event suite either. But the pay-per-view points I’m looking like, what happens to them? Maybe me and Anderson can split those because we got ‘Fight of the Night’ and that’s a lot of money being left on the table. We’ll see what happens with that.”
Adesanya (16-0, 5-0 UFC) has apparently earned a 185-pound title shot with his decision win over Silva. With Whittaker’s health up in the air right now, there are a lot of possibilities open in the division.