Whether he wins or loses at UFC 271 against Robert Whittaker, the UFC will not have to worry about the status of middleweight champion Israel Adesanya for the foreseeable future. It was revealed that Adesanya signed a new, multi-fight contract with the UFC.
Paradigm Sports, who represents Adesanya, as well as Conor McGregor and Cris Cyborg, announced the deal via a press release. Adesanya’s new contract is considered “one of the most lucrative multi-fight deals in company history.”
“We are very happy with the terms of Israel’s new promotional agreement with UFC,” said Tim Simpson, Adesanya’s manager, via MMA Fighting. “Israel truly deserves to be in the position that he is in, and we look forward to several more prosperous years with the UFC.”
An interesting aspect of this deal is that Adesanya officially agreed to sign the bout agreement to fight Whittaker this week. Paradigm has stated that Adesanya’s new deal will make him one of the “top paid athletes in the history of mixed martial arts.” To put that into perspective, he made $640,000 when he moved in weight to face then-UFC light heavyweight champion Jan Blachowicz at UFC 259.
Contract negotiations appeared to have taken months before this week.
Adesanya made his MMA debut in 2012. He is 10-1 in the UFC since joining the promotion in 2018. After beating Whittaker for the middleweight title at UFC 243, he successfully defended it against Yoel Romero, Paulo Costa, and Marvin Vettori. One of the most recognizable names in the sport, Adesanya is looking to add to his value inside the Toyota Center in Houston.
This news comes after UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou beat Ciryl Gane at UFC 270. Fighting out of his current contract, Ngannou has been looking for an increase in pay from the UFC. Former UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones has been looking for a pay increase as well, attempting to negotiate with the UFC as he moves to the heavyweight division.