Despite suffering his first Mixed Martial Arts defeat in the hands of hard-hitting Polish light heavyweight champion Jan Blachowicz, Israel Adesanya still left the UFC 259 arena as the highest-paid fighter.
Adesanya, along with Blachowicz; women’s bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes and challenger Meagan Anderson and Petr Yan and Aljamain Sterling were the main card for the night but it was the Nigerian-born New Zealander who went home with the heaviest purse.
According to UFCsalaries.com, Adesanya took home an estimated $1m for the fight and a guaranteed $40,000 fight week incentive while his conqueror, Blachowicz earned $750,000 for his win and $40,000 fight week incentive.
Adesanya’s pay for the fight could be further increased as his contract for UFC 259 included a payout from the overall Pay Per View income, estimated at $1m, but his opponent is not entitled to the PPV largess.
The 31-year-old earned $690,000 from his middleweight title defence against Brazilian Paulo Costa in September 2020.
Another Nigerian, Kennedy Nzechukwu, who earned a second-round knockout win over Adesanya’s teammate, Carlos Ulberg, was awarded the Fight of The Night award, which carried a bonus of $50,000. Nzechukwu’s original pay was an $18,000 base fight salary, $18,000 win bonus and a $4,000 Reebok sponsorship deal.