Home » Nigerian MMA fighter Israel Adesanya earns $1.54 million in first fight under lucrative contract with UFC

Nigerian MMA fighter Israel Adesanya earns $1.54 million in first fight under lucrative contract with UFC

by Omokolade Ajayi

Israel Adesanya, “The Last Style Bender,” the reigning and undefeated UFC middleweight champion, has successfully defended his championship belt against Australian MMA fighter Robert Whitaker.

The multimillionaire fighter earned a total of $1.54 million from his fourth UFC championship defense, the first of many fights under a new deal.

The UFC is an American MMA promotion located in Las Vegas. It is run by U.S. businessman Dana White, who has turned the company into a multibillion-dollar industry since taking over the reins in 2001.

Adesanya, who remains undefeated in the middleweight division, emerged victorious, winning by decision after his five-round title match against Whitaker.

With the victory, Adesanya extended his winning streak and made his fourth consecutive championship defense in the UFC middleweight division.

In his first title defense under a new lucrative deal with the UFC, the Nigerian-born MMA fighter received a total base salary of $1 million from the UFC 271 main event, as well as a $42,000 sponsorship incentive.

The promotion also paid him $500,000 in pay-per-view earnings, bringing his total purse pay from the title match, which lasted 25 minutes, to $1.54 million.

The lucrative multi-fight contract that he recently signed with the UFC runs through 2023, making him one of the highest-paid fighters on the UFC’s roster.

At the post-fight press conference following his triumph on Sun., Feb. 13, Adesanya remarked said: “I’m an athlete who crosses over to the mainstream so easily. I have this appeal. I’ve got that ‘it’ thing, so I’m glad that the UFC is starting to see that.”

Adesanya is one of three African fighters tagged the “Three Kings” who lead three different divisions in the UFC.

The other fighters are Cameroonian MMA fighter Francis Ngannou, who is the champion of the heavyweight division, and Nigerian MMA fighter Kamaru Usman, who is the champion of the welterweight division.

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