Jon Jones leapfrogs bitter rival Israel Adesanya to become UFC’s second-biggest earner behind Conor McGregor

JON JONES’ bumper new deal with the UFC has reportedly made him the promotion’s second highest-paid fighter – ahead of rival Israel Adesanya.

The former pound-for-pound king has inked a new eight-fight deal with mixed martial arts’ premier promotion – which will kick off with a heavyweight title fight with Ciryl Gane in March.

UFC great Jon Jones has inked a new eight-fight deal with the promotionGETTY

GettyJones has reportedly overtaken Israel Adesanya as the promotion’s second-highest-paid fighter[/caption]

GETTYJones is now allegedly behind Conor McGregor in the fighter earning ranks[/caption]

UFCJon Jones’ first fight from his three-year hiatus will be a showdown with Ciryl Gane[/caption]

Jones’ new deal came after nearly two-and-a-half years of fierce negotiations and a public pay spat with the UFC brass – who were initially reluctant to meet his demands.

And he’s allegedly overtaken former middleweight champion Adesanya as the American fight promotion’s second-biggest earner.

During an appearance on The MMA Hour, manager Richard Schaefer said: ” I think UFC realises that Jon Jones is the GOAT.

“He is a generational talent, so they were very much interested and very open to work with us and come to the conclusion of putting together a fair deal, which we did here.

“That deal we made for Jon makes Jon in the history of the UFC, the highest-paid heavyweight athlete.

“Overall, I think probably the second-highest ever next to Conor McGregor.

“So, it was a long negotiation but it was not a hostile negotiation.

“It wasn’t where both sides dug their heels in.

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“I think both sides wanted to find a way. We found a way and here it is.”

“It was a contract that made both parties happy. Maybe it made both parties a little bit unhappy as well.

“I think in order for this to happen, every side had to give a little bit.

“We are very pleased and I’m sure UFC is pleased.

“I’m sure Jon is very happy to be back and get this opportunity to fight for the heavyweight title.”

Former two-division champion McGregor is the UFC’s top dog when it comes to fighter purses.

The Irishman’s last publicly disclosed guaranteed purse was a cool £2.4million – which he received for his 40 second demolition of Donald Cerrone in January 2020.

McGregor’s overall purse, although unknown, was significantly larger due to his discretionary bonus from the UFC and his cut of pay-per-view buys.

Former middleweight king Adesanya inked a bumper new deal with the UFC last February, which he said of to SunSport: “[There have] been a lot of things, a lot of factors have played into the fact that now UFC has seen my value to the company.

“[And] they’ve shown me my value, which I really appreciate.

“So I look forward to doing more good business with them.”

Jones’ future purses, however, won’t be revealed unless he fights in a State whose athletic commission legally requires fighters’ payouts to be disclosed.

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