There will be a pretty hefty cash prize at stake at UFC 276 — and not only for the combatants.
In a call to Israel Adesanya, who is set to face off against Jared Cannonier on Saturday night in Las Vegas (10 p.m. ET on ESPN+ PPV), rapper Drake told the current UFC middleweight champion that he’s betting big on him to win.
“You know I put a light million up, I wasn’t playing,” Drake said in a video call to Adesanya while the former was apparently out to dinner. “Return on investment is a lot.”
Adesanya, who is currently 22-1 and No. 3 on ESPN’s pound-for-pound MMA rankings, seemed genuinely appreciative of the confidence Drake put in him, saying that he’d seen the musician twice live and was looking forward to Drake watching him in return.
The two also made plans to potentially have Drake walk Adesanya out for a fight at some point.
Adesanya is currently a -490 favorite, which would net Drake $250,000 if he wins.
Adesanya has successfully defended his middleweight belt four times, against Robert Whittaker, Marvin Vettori, Paulo Costa and Yoel Romero. His only loss came last year against Jan Błachowicz when he moved up to challenge for the light heavyweight championship.
Drake released a surprise album, “Honestly, Nevermind,” in June, and it debuted at No. 1 on the U.S. Billboard 200.