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Israel Adesanya defends Francis Ngannou's exit, gives timeline on retirement

UFC middleweight superstar Israel Adesanya threw his support behind Francis Ngannou following his exit and gave a timeline for his own retirement.

Former heavyweight champion Ngannou ruffled feathers with a contract dispute, which eventually led to him walking out on the promotion last month.

Adesanya was in Perth ahead of UFC 284, where he watched Islam Makhachev earn a close decision win over Alexander Volkanovski on the weekend.

Speaking to the press afterwards, the Nigerian-born fighter said Nagnnou's contract requests were not unreasonable.
"He's not being a diva," said the former middleweight champion, as per mmajunkie.com.
"He's asking for reasonable demands, and I felt like he should have got them. [UFC president Dana White] said, 'That's not how we do business.' But the way we do business has to change, and it will change. He's just the guy to kick in the door.
"Francis made the right call. He's the one that kicked in the door. We've all been behind him. We've been saying this for how long? If you guys go back on the tapes, I've been saying the same thing. I'm not going to harp on about it, but he's right. It's little things. He's asking for things that should be mandatory.
"He wasn't asking for, you know, crazy, ridiculous diva demands. There's something as little as for the guys fighting on the opening (bouts), having the fourth or third corner man being paid for, and the hotel is being paid for. That sets them up nicely, and they don't have to fork it out of their $10K and $10K, or maybe even $10K, to pay for their fourth or third corner man - little things like that."

Despite his recent loss to Alex Pereira, Adesanya remains one of the UFC's most marketable athletes. Speaking on his own retirement, Adesanya admitted that he won't be with the promotion forever.

"I've been in the UFC five years, right?" quipped the 33-year-old.
"If I'm being honest, I'm not gonna be here in five years. I have other things to do in life. I love this sh*t and I'm f*cking great at it but I never attach myself to this and I'm gonna leave on top.
"So yeah, that's the best way I feel like you should leave. But again, I've been here five years in the UFC, (snaps fingers) it went like that. We'll see how long I'm here for but I don't think it's gonna be five years."
On that man Pereira, Adesanya said that his eyes remain firmly fixed on reclaiming his middleweight belt he's defended five times before his Brazillian nemesis stepped in the octagon with him in November at UFC 281.

"He's got bragging rights," Adesanya told The Mac Life last week.

"I got the opportunity to claim it back, but I'm going to say less and do more. After this fight, I bet you he's going to move to 205 (pounds). So this is my shot, and this is why I'm putting everything into this. This is a part of my story. In any story, there are valleys.
"Also for him, one man's hero is another man's villain. If you look at his life from his point of view, I'm the villain. I'm the guy - the underdog that he beat. I went to the UFC, he chased me, got me, beat me. So this is my story now. This is my time for his story."

Either way, it appears Adesanya is entering the final chapter of his stellar combat sports career, where the manga fan is undoubtedly hoping for a super saiyan ending.

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