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 prior to UFC 271.
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.” At UFC 271, Adesanya defeated Robert Whittaker to retain the UFC middleweight title.
“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.”
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 11-1 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, Marvin Vettori, and Whittaker. He is one of the most recognizable names in the sport.
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.