Despite his first mixed martial arts loss to Polish light heavyweight champion Jan Blachowicz, Israel Adesanya left the UFC 259 arena as the highest-paid fighter.
Adesanya, along with Blachowicz, bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes and her challenger Meagan Anderson, and Petr Yan and Aljamain Sterling were the main fighters of the night, but it was the Nigerian-born New Zealander who went home with the highest pay.
According to UFCsalaries.com, Adesanya took home an estimated $1 million for the fight and a guaranteed $40,000 fight week incentive, while his defeater Blachowicz earned $750,000 for his win and $40,000 fight week incentive.
Adesanya’s pay for the fight could be boosted even further, as his contract for UFC 259 includes a payout from total pay-per-view earnings estimated at $1 million, but his opponent is not eligible for the PPV largesse.
The 31-year-old earned $690,000 in his middleweight title defense against Brazilian Paulo Costa in September 2020.
Another Nigerian, Kennedy Nzechukwu, who earned a second-round knockout victory over Adesanya’s teammate Carlos Ulberg, was named “Fight of the Night” with a $50,000 bonus.
Nzechukwu’s original salary was a base fight salary of $18,000, a win bonus of $18,000 and a $4,000 sponsorship deal with Reebok.