Former middleweight champion, Israel Adesanya, is expected to earn $2.6m from his bout against Brazilian rival, Alex Pereira, at UFC 281 despite failing to successfully defend his title at the Maddison Square Garden, New York.
According to Mixed Martial Arts salaries, the amount can be divided into a base salary of $2 million, a pay-per-view payout of $600,000 and sponsorship earnings of $42,000. Pereira is expected to earn $332,000.
Pereira (7-1 MMA, 4-0 UFC) defeated Adesanya for the third time in their combat sports careers when he stopped the then-champion by a fifth-round Technical Knockout. The loss was Adesanya’s first at middleweight and his first stoppage defeat.
The Last Stylebender had been winning the fight in the early rounds. However, he was caught in the final sequence of the bout against Pereira. The loss means Adesanya has lost his UFC middleweight title to Pereira after he earned the belt in a win over Robert Whittaker in October 2019.
The pair, who have a long history, had fought twice before in kickboxing, with the Brazilian winning both times, the more recent being a 2017 knockout of Adesanya.
Coming off his first career loss against Jan Blachowicz in March, Adesanya has been on a three-fight winning streak with victories over Jared Cannonier, Whittaker, and Marvin Vettori.
However, the winning streak has ended following this defeat, and the Nigerian will now look to build upon the defeat and work harder for a potential rematch.