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UFC 259: Adesanya Earns $1m Despite First Ever Career Defeat

Nigerian-born New Zealander Israel Adesanya was the highest paid fighter despite his first ever career defeat in Mixed Martial Arts popularly known as UFC.

Adesanya lost to Polish light heavyweight champion Jan Blachowicz, at the UFC 259 Arena on Saturday but still walked away with $1m.

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According to, 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 also 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 Nigerian champion earned $690,000 from his middleweight title defence against Brazilian Paulo Costa in September 2020.

Meanwhile, another Nigerian fighter Kennedy Nzechukwu earned a second-round knockout win over Adesanya’s teammate, Carlos Ulberg and was awarded the Fight of The Night award, which carried a bonus of $50,000. 

Photo credit: MMA fighting

Nzechukwu originally earned $18,000 base fight salary, $18,000 win bonus and a $4,000 Reebok sponsorship deal.

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