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Conor McGregor has thrown his support behind Israel Adesanya in advance of his middleweight title defence against Robert Whittaker in the UFC 271 headliner this Saturday night.

After reports emerged that Adesanya has inked a new deal with the UFC which, per reports, makes him one of the best paid athletes in the history of mixed martial arts, the frontrunner in that particular category offered his congratulations.

“Can’t wait to see Izzy Style back in the Octagon this weekend!” wrote McGregor on Twitter. “One of the true remaining high level fighter/performer athletes we have on the roster! Don’t just fight! Perform!”

And responding to McGregor’s praise, Adesanya told reports in Houston, Texas, including The Mac Life, that the appreciation between the two is mutual.

“Real recognises real,” Adesanya said. “We’re on the same team when it comes to [management group] Paradigm. I think I’m second place now when it comes to highest paid fighter on the roster. Conor is a guy that I’ve admired from the jump. From the jump, when he fought Marcus Brimage.

“He’s a guy that, he’s a performer. So when he said ‘perform’, I know what he means. We know. You don’t just go in there and fight, you perform. Look at the last fight with Whittaker. That was a f*cking rockstar concert. I gave a song and dance, the whole thing.

“We understand the magnitude of stepping up in the main event — not just showing off, but showing out. So yeah, I appreciate Conor and I appreciate what he’s done for the game because whether you like him or not, he f*cking raised the bar. He raised the bar for everyone, even you guys [media] in here. The whole game is better because of him. Ronda Rousey did that as well in her time but year, Conor’s definitely set the bar and I look to do the same before I’m done with this game.”