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UFC 248 salaries: Adesanya banks $500K for main event title defense

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Israel Adesanya will step inside of the Octagon for his first official UFC middleweight title defense later this evening (Sat., Mar. 7, 2020) at UFC 248 live on ESPN+ PPV from inside T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, when “Last Stylebender” takes on perennial contender Yoel Romero in the main event.

Adesanya, who will be making just his second PPV main event appearance, is expected to bank a cool $500,000 for his services, according to the Nevada State Athletic Commission (h/t Yahoo! Sports’ Kevin Iole). That’s slightly more than the $400,000 Adesanya earned for his title-unification bout opposite Robert Whittaker back at UFC 243. Of course, “Last Stylebender” stands to earn even more for his first title defense through sponsorship and discretionary bonuses.

As for Romero, who will be fighting for gold for the second time in his seven-year UFC career, he’ll walk away with $350,000 for his main event bid. That’s $200,00 more than what “Soldier of God” banked in his last fight — a loss to Paulo Costa at UFC 241 — and the same amount he drew for his title fight loss to Whittaker back in 2017. Not too shabby for a fighter coming off two-straight losses.

We’ll find out one way or another if money talks and Adesanya is able to edge out Romero for his first official UFC title defense. If not, “Last Stylebender” will taste his first professional loss and hand the middleweight crown over to a 42-year-old freak of nature.

Check out the official UFC 248 main card salaries below:

Israel Adesanya (c) - $500,000 (no win bonus)
vs. Yoel Romero - $350,000 (no win bonus)

Weili Zhang (c) - $100,000 to show ($100,000 to win)
vs. Joanna Jedrzejczyk - $106,000 to show ($106,000 to win)

Beneil Dariush - $70,000 to show ($70,000 to win)
vs. Drakkar Klose - $40,000 to show ($40,000 to win)

Neil Magny - $76,000 to show ($76,000 to win)
vs. Li Jingliang - $64,000 to show ($64,000 to win)

Alex Oliveira - $64,000 to show ($64,000 to win)
vs. Max Griffin - $35,000 to show ($35,000 to win)

MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 248 fight card below, starting with the Fight Pass/ESPN+ “Prelims” matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. ET, then the remaining undercard balance on ESPN at 8 p.m. ET, before the PPV main card start time at 10 p.m. ET on ESPN+.