Who Is the Highest-Paid UFC Fighter? 31 UFC Athletes with the Fattest Paychecks

by Denis Metev

Ultimate Fighting Championship has become a popular sport in recent years. The clashes of top-tier fighters turn into spectacles watched by millions of people. Naturally, the best UFC fighters earn much more than the average American citizen. 

But in the lower ranks, the situation is not that ideal, less-skilled fighters need to go through a lot to earn a living.

The highest-paid UFC fighter earns millions of dollars. The same goes, to a lesser extent, for the best 100 fighters in the league. They earn salaries, win prize money, get paid by sponsors, and earn some dough from media presence as well.

Are you interested to find out how much money you can earn as a top-ranked UFC fighter? We know we are! So let’s get down to business and show you the 31 highest-paid UFC athletes in the world. 

Highest paid UFC fighters:

1. Conor McGregor – $12,022,000
2. Alistair Overeem – $8,704,500
3. Khabib Nurmagomedov – $8,680,200
4. Anderson Silva – $8,112,000
5. Michael Bisping – $7,135,000
6. Georges St-Pierre – $7,037,000
7. Jon Jones – $6,485,000
8. Mark Hunt – $6,304,000
9. Donald Cerrone – $5,935,200
10. Daniel Cormier – $5,726,000
11. Junior dos Santos – $5,550,000
12. Vitor Belfort – $5,455,200
13. Andrei Arlovski – $5,089,000
14. Brock Lesnar – $5,080,000
15. Rashad Evans – $4,735,000
16. Lyoto Machida – $4,585,000
17. Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua – $4,540,000
18. Stipe Miocic – $4,488,000
19. Dan Henderson – $4,400,000
20. Chuck Liddell – $4,380,000
21. Nate Diaz – $4,371,000
22. Frankie Edgar – $4,343,000
23. Ronda Rousey – $4,275,000
24. Tito Ortiz – $4,135,000
25. Tyron Woodley – $3,974,000
26. Fabricio Werdum – $3,878,000
27. Robbie Lawler – $3,823,000
28. Jose Aldo – $3,805,000
29. Chris Weidman – $3,551,000
30. Demetrious Johnson – $3,538,000
31. Frank Mir – $3,509,000

 

1. Conor McGregor – $12,022,000

(Source: Players Wiki)

Conor McGregor

Connor McGregor is by far the most famous UFC fighter to ever enter the arena. As you can suspect, that also makes him the most paid UFC fighter. This feisty Irishman is extremely dangerous in the ring, but he also owns part of his popularity to his unique character. Some UFC fans love him, others can’t stand to see him. 

As you can see, McGregor has earned more than $12 million thus far from his professional fighting career. However, this sum only takes into account his salary. In real life, he has  A LOT more money to boast with. 

Some of his main sources of income are prizes and sponsorships. Currently, he is sponsored by Beats by Dre, Monster Energy, Bud Light, Reebok, Rolls Royce, Nike, and so on. His highest-paid match was the one against Floyd Mayweather, in which he earned a hefty sum of $75 million.

2. Alistair Overeem – $8,704,500

(Source: The Sports Daily)

Alistair Overeem

Alistair Overeem is one of the best UFC fighters in the world. He comes from Holland and is one of the crowd favorites whenever he enters the ring. He’s earned around $8.7 million from his UFC salaries, which makes him the number two highest-paid UFC fighter ever.

Like the majority of top UFC athletes, he competes in other fighting styles as well. He has never been a UFC champion, but he holds titles as a K-1 kickboxer and an MMA champion. 

It has been reported that Alistair earns $800,000 just to enter the ring and more than $1 million if he wins the fight. Some of his best-paying sponsors include F3 Nutrition and Rize

3. Khabib Nurmagomedov – $8,680,200

(Source: Forbes)

Khabib Nurmagomedov

Khabib Nurmagomedov is not the highest-paid MMA fighter, but many believe that he should be. Judging by his recent performance in the octagon, there is a high chance that he will rise in ranks, at least as far as salary is concerned. 

Currently, his career records show 28 wins and 0 losses. Yes, you read that right, he is still undefeated. 

However, he is most well-known for the utter chaos that ensued after his fight against Connor McGregor at UFC 229 in 2018. After forcing the Irishman to give in, he jumped the fence, attacked one of McGregor’s trainers and then all hell broke loose. 

If you’re wondering how much UFC fighters do get paid, Khabib reportedly earns more than $1 million per fight. His career-high event brought him $6 million in a 2019 match against Dustin Poirier.

4. Anderson Silva  – $8,112,000

(Source: Sportskeeda)

Anderson Silva

Unlike Khabib, Anderson Silva is a highly-respected UFC fighter who has earned more than $8.1 million so far. His current UFC stats show a match record of 34-10-0, which is quite impressive. Namely, he is one of the pretenders for the UFC Hall-of-Fame, and rightfully so.

Anderson Silva earns $600,000 for each fight he enters, plus additional bonuses if he wins. For example, for his fight against Derek Brunson, he earned an additional $820,000. That surely helped him become one of the top paid UFC fighters.

Recently, he has had some problems with prohibited substances, which negatively affected his career. Yet, he is still endorsed by some of the world’s top brands such as Burger King, Nike, and the Brazilian football club Corinthians.

5. Michael Bisping – $7,135,000

(Source: The Sports Daily)

Michael Bisping

Michael Bisping is not one of the most popular UFC fighters. He does not enjoy the fame McGregor does. However, he is still one of the best UFC fighters of all time

He is now retired, but his total career earnings amount to around $7.1 million. Unlike some other fighters, he has earned his dough the hard way—by relentlessly fighting in the octagon and accumulating cash prizes. 

Many might not know that Michael Bisping was the 2016 UFC welterweight champion. He entered the UFC ring 40 times and has a 31-9-0 record. 

6. Georges St-Pierre – $7,037,000

(Source: Celebrity Net Worth)

Georges St-Pierre

Georges St-Pierre is another legendary UFC fighter, who is unfortunately retired from the Octagon. He has fought 22 times in the UFC category, which helped him earn a total of around $7 million in his entire career. 

He has earned his UFC money not only from fights but from endorsements as well. He is a twelve-time welterweight champion and a one-time middleweight champion. 

For his fight against Michael Bisping at UFC 217, he earned $2,500,000 –  as well as another $50,000 for “The Performance of the Night Award.” In the same fight, he earned $30,000 from his Reebok sponsorship.

7. Jon Jones – $6,485,000

(Source: MMA Fighting)

Jon Jones

Jon Jones is a controversial, but beloved UFC fighter. After his fight with Mauricio Rua in 2011, he became the youngest UFC titleholder. That’s part of the reason why he dominates the UFC fighter earnings

He is the current light heavyweight champion, which is a title he is expected to defend against Dominic Reyes in February 2020.

Jon Jones had numerous endorsement deals signed with some top sports brands such as Nike, Reebok, and MuscleTech. However, these were revoked after his alleged doping scandals. His 2019 net worth is estimated at around $10 million.

8. Mark Hunt – $6,304,000

(Source: The Street)

Mark Hunt

Mark Hunt is possibly one of the most iconic fighters in the UFC world. This martial arts celebrity of Samoan descent comes from New Zealand and instills fear in his opponents the moment he steps in the ring. 

In addition, he is one of the contenders for the title of the highest-paid UFC fighter. Right now, he has $6.3 million in the bank from UFC salaries alone. Nonetheless, his net worth is estimated at around $1 million in 2019. 

He is best remembered for the UFC Fight Night 33 he fought against Antonio Silva. It is considered to be one of the most entertaining fights in the history of the sport. 

9. Donald Cerrone – $5,935,200

(Source: The Sports Daily)

Donald Cerrone

Donald Cowboy Cerrone is an authentic UFC figure and a very successful UFC fighter. So far, over the course of his lengthy career, he has earned almost $6 million from his UFC salaries

So far, he has achieved 36 UFC wins, 10 of which were by knockout, 17 by submission, and 9 by decision. 

Some of his most notable endorsements include FRAM, a leading US oil filter brand, which signs other UFC athletes as well. Of course, he is also sponsored by Reebok.

10. Daniel Cormier – $5,726,000

(Source: Itsgame7)

Daniel Cormier

Daniel Cormier is one of the most well-known names in the UFC world. He has built his career on wins, records, and fair play. Therefore, it does not surprise that he is one of the champions when it comes to UFC fighters salaries.

But he’s a champion in many other regards as well. Namely, he is a former Olympic wrestler and a two-time UFC champion. He is also the first UFC fighter to ever get the chance to defend two champion titles in two weight classes. 

Some of his main sponsors include Monster, American Kickboxing Academy, Metro PCS, and Reebok. Reportedly, he earns around $1 million a year from sponsorships alone.

11. Junior dos Santos – $5,550,000

(Source: Mmmajunkie.usatoday.com)

Junior dos Santos

Junior dos Santos Almeida is a Brazilian MMA fighter and an ex UFC Heavyweight Champion. During his lengthy career, he has managed to dethrone five other UFC Heavyweight Champions, including:

  • Fabricio Werdum
  • Frank Mir
  • Cain Velasquez
  • Shane Carwin
  • Stipe Miocic

At one point in time, he was the highest-paid UFC fighter per fight. Nowadays, according to Forbes, he earns around $400,000 per match, even when he loses. Apart from that, he also earns fight-night bonuses from UFC and Reebok, which amounted to $335,000 for six matches. Not bad at all. 

12. Vitor Belfort – $5,455,200

(Source: The Street)

Vitor Belfort

Vitor Belfort can boast as one of the UFC fighters who managed to snatch both a light-heavyweight title and a heavyweight title during his successful career. 

This MMA fighter of Brazillian-American origin has a UFC record of 26-14-0, which allowed him to win almost $5.5 million thus far. 

Apart from being on this list as a contender for being the highest-paid UFC fighter, he is also known as one of the most dangerous fighters in the UFC world. He has finished 14 out of 26 fights with a knockout. 

13. Andrei Arlovski – $5,089,000

(Source: Players Wiki)

Andrei Arlovski

We do not have many Belarusian fighters on this list, but Andrei Arlovski is the perfect representative of this Eastern European country. He has a UFC fight record of 28-19-0, which makes him a real menace in the ring. 

Thus far, he has earned just upwards of $5 million, which we are sure is going to increase even more in the future. Who knows, he could even become the richest MMA fighter one day with his talent.

Even though Andrei Arlovski is not a UFC champion, he is still earning around $300,000 per fight, which puts him near the top of the UFC Fort Lauderdale salaries.

14. Brock Lesnar – $5,080,000

(Source: Sport Bible)

Brock Lesnar

Brock Lesnar has achieved a lot of things in his life that he can be very proud of. He is a former Minnesota Vikings NFL player, a former professional wrestler, and now a world-wide popular MMA fighter. 

Unfortunately, Lesnar no longer fights, as he retired some time ago. During his UFC career, he had just 5 fights, 3 of which he finished with a knockout. Those 5 fights helped him earn $5 million, which is quite incredible. 

Had he continued fighting for several more years, there’s a good chance that he could have become the highest-paid MMA fighter.

15. Rashad Evans – $4,735,000

(Source: Spotrac)

Rashad Evans

Another retired UFC fighter has made it to our list. Rashad Evans has managed to earn around $4.6 million from 24 fights under the UFC banner. 

His other notable achievements include becoming a UFC light heavyweight champion at one point in his career. Moreover, in 2019, he was admitted to the UFC Hall of Fame, which means his name will forever be remembered.

Rashad Evans has a net worth of $8.5 million, which is decently high for a UFC fighter. Salaries of UFC fighters can be quite high, considering Rashad used to earn as much as $515,000 per fight. 

16. Lyoto Machida – $4,585,000

(Source: The Street)

Lyoto Machida

Lyoto Machida is one of the most authentic UFC fighters. He comes from Brazil and has quite a few titles in his name. He is a former UFC light heavyweight champion and currently competes in the UFC middleweight category. 

Considering he has a UFC record of 24-8-0, there’s a decent chance that he will become a champion once again. 

Thus far, his 24 fights under the UFC wing have earned him a bit over $4.5 million, which puts him above the UFC fighter salary average.

He is one of the most popular and longest-lasting UFC fighters thanks to his unique wrestling/sumo fighting style.

17. Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua – $4,540,000

(Source: SportsMedia101)

Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua

Mauricio Rua is known as the “Shogun” in the UFC world. That’s a nickname he earned thanks to his exotic fighting style which resembles Eastern martial arts masters. 

Just like Lyoto Machida, he is a former UFC light heavyweight champion. He lost his title, but he is still among the top fighters in the light heavyweight category. 

Thus far, his UFC career has earned him an MMA payout of $4.5 million. He frequently earns more than $200,000 per fight, which ends up even higher with bonuses. His highest-paid fight ever brought him $330,000.

18. Stipe Miocic – $4,488,000

(Source: The Sports Daily)

Stipe Miocic

Stipe Miocic is a Croatian-American UFC destroyer. He is a heavyweight monster that obliterates opponents with his rock solid fists. 

Miocic is a two-time UFC heavyweight champion and also the current UFC heavyweight champion

When it comes to fight-night bonuses, he is the highest-paid MMA fighter of all time. He has been awarded a total of 9 times, which boosted his total UFC earnings to more than $4.5 million. 

He is sponsored by the popular beer brand Modelo, which paid him a hefty sum for a commercial he shot for them. 

19. Dan Henderson – $4,400,000

(Source: The Street)

Dan Henderson

Dan Henderson is the current UFC middleweight champion, but he is much better known as an MMA fighter. If you are wondering who the highest-paid MMA fighter is, the answer is Dan Henderson. 

He had a long and fruitful career in the MMA world, where he defeated 22 different champions. 

His successful UFC career has brought him earnings that amount to $4.4 million, but unfortunately, he had to retire at the age of 46

His top-paying fight was at UFC 199 against Michael Bisping, when he earned $600,000 for the show and another $200,000 for his knockout victory.

20. Chuck Liddell – $4,380,000

(Source: Sportskeeda)

Chuck Liddell

Chuck Liddell is one of the more popular UFC fighters, thanks to the show he always puts up during his fights. Unfortunately, Liddell is now retired and no longer fights, but he will be remembered as one of the most successful UFC athletes. 

He was admitted into the UFC Hall of Fame in 2009 due to the fact that he is one of the people who brought MMA into the USA sports mainstream. 

Chuck Liddell’s net worth is estimated at around $14 million, even though he earned just shy of $4.4 million during his career. 

21. Nate Diaz – $4,371,000

(Source: Sport Bible)

Nate Diaz

Nate Diaz is one of those UFC fighters, who leaves a lasting impression on anyone who watches one of his fights. That’s why his name is well-known inside and outside UFC and MMA circles. 

He is best known for his fight against Conor McGregor at UFC 202, which was one of the highest-rated television broadcasts in the history of the sport. 

His professional UFC career has earned him close to $4.4 million, but considering he is just 34 years old, he will definitely not stop there. There’s a good chance he will become the highest-paid UFC fighter one day.

22. Frankie Edgar – $4,343,000

(Source: Statista)

Frankie Edgar

Frankie Edgar is a former welterweight UFC champion, even though he mainly competes in the featherweight category. Thus far, he has earned around $4.3 million from 22 UFC fights, 7 of which he finished with a knockout. That’s pretty high in terms of UFC fighters’ salaries.

His most popular fight ever was against B.J. Penn in 2010. This match was rated as the best upset of the year by ESPN. 

On average, Edgar earns around $200,000 per fight, though his highest-paid match brought him a sweet profit of $330,000 on November 22, 2014, against Cub Swanson.

23. Ronda Rousey – $4,275,000

(Source: Money)

Ronda Rousey

And we finally arrive at the highest-paid female UFC fighter in the world. Ronda Rousey is the absolute winner in the female category with total UFC earnings of around $4.3 million. 

She has fought 12 times under the UFC banner, two of which she finished with a knockout. She became a world celebrity after her 2016 fight against Amanda Nunes, which was a telecasting spectacle. 

Ronda Rousey’s payout for that fight was $3,000,000, which is absolutely astronomical – especially compared to her previous payouts. For example, at UFC 193, she fought against Holly Holm as a UFC champion and earned just $75,000.

24. Tito Ortiz – $4,135,000

(Source: The Sports Daily)

Tito Ortiz

Tito Ortiz is a UFC legend that has helped shape the UFC and MMA as we know them today. If you’re wondering why he is on this list, you should know that he was one of the most popular fighters of his time. 

Tito Ortiz’s net worth was estimated at around $15 million in 2019, whereas his total UFC earnings so far are $4.1 million.

In 2006, he was the most popular fighter on the planet, thanks to some spectacular performances against Ken Shamrock, Forest Griffin, and Chuck Liddell. 

He’s also in the UFC Hall of Fame, as well as a former UFC light heavyweight champion.

25. Tyron Woodley – $3,974,000

(Source: Mmafighting)

Tyron Woodley

If you ask us Who is the highest-paid UFC fighter? next year, we might answer Tyron Woodley. He is an incredibly popular fighter with a hefty yearly payout.

Until recently, he used to earn around $300,000 per fight. However, after the spectacle at UFC 201 and his fight against Robbie Lawler, his payouts skyrocketed to around $500,000. Mind you, that’s just the basic salary. 

Since then he has also earned $500,000 for each of the performances at UFC 205, UFC 209, and UFC 214.

His MMA payout also includes tens of thousands of dollars from Fight of the Night and Performance of the Night bonuses, and his Reebok sponsorship. 

26. Fabricio Werdum – $3,878,000

(Source: Statista)

Fabricio Werdum

Fabricio Werdum definitely deserves a place on this list. In our humble opinion, he deserves to be much better positioned, considering all of the titles that he has in his name. 

Namely, he is a Brazilian mixed martial artist and a former UFC heavyweight champion. He is also a two-time Abu Dhabi Combat Club World Heavyweight Champion, a four-time Brazilian jiu-jitsu world champion, and European jiu-jitsu champion.

Taking into account all of the above, his $3.8 million in UFC money looks quite small. His highest-paid fight ever was in 2016, at UFC 198, against Stipe Miocic, when he snagged a total of $540,000. 

27. Robbie Lawler – $3,823,000

(Source: The Sports Daily)

Robbie Lawler

Robbie Lawler is a very successful UFC fighter, though his career definitely knew for some better times. Namely, he was a UFC welterweight champion until 2016, when he was dethroned Tyron Woodley in July.

Before that, as a welterweight champion, he used to earn in excess of $500,000 per fight. Apart from his UFC salaries, he also had one Fight of the Night award as well, and regularly earned $40,000 per fight from his Reebok sponsorship. 

Apart from Reebok, he also signed a sponsorship deal with Adidas, which is a deal that brought him additional money.

28. Jose Aldo – $3,805,000

(Source: Sportskeeda)

Jose Aldo

Jose Aldo is one of the most popular Brazilian MMA fighters who currently fights under the UFC crown. He will be remembered as the fourth and final WEC featherweight champion and the first UFC featherweight champion after the merger between the UFC and WEC.

Such titles come with a decent financial reward. He earns a $400,000 base salary and an additional $50,000 bonus. That is not enough to make him the highest-paid UFC fighter, but it is enough to help him climb up the ladder.

Jose Aldo’s net worth is estimated at around $9 million. His personal endorsement deal with Brazilian football club Flamengo has certainly helped him accumulate this sum.

29. Chris Weidman – $3,551,000

(Source: Statista)

Chris Weidman

Chris Weidman is an American UFC fighter and a former UFC middleweight champion. He is best known as the first man to defeat Anderson Silva in 2013, which he did once again later on. He held his middleweight champion title for two and a half years before he lost it to Luke Rockhold.

He has also realized himself as an actor after starring in a popular American comedy TV show “Kevin Can Wait.” 

His UFC salary average as a fighter is around $200,000, but he has managed to earn a lot more in some fights. For his UFC 187 performance against Belfort, for example, he earned a total of $550,000.

30. Demetrious Johnson – $3,538,000

(Source: The Sports Daily)

Demetrious Johnson

Demetrious Johnson is an American mixed martial artist who started his fighting career as a freestyle wrestler. Later on, he decided to try his luck in UFC. That proved to be a very good idea considering he’s winning one of the highest salaries of UFC fighters

One of his records includes being a UFC flyweight champion. However, his biggest achievement is holding the UFC record for 11 consecutive title defenses. Many have tried and failed to take his crown.

So far, Johnson has earned around $3.5 million in salaries and has a net worth of $3 million. Apart from his salary, he also earns millions from his endorsement deals with ONE eSports and Microsoft Xbox. 

31. Frank Mir – $3,509,000

(Source: Players Wiki)

Frank Mir

Last but not least, we have Frank Mir, an American professional wrestler and mixed martial artist. He currently competes in the heavyweight division under the wing of Bellator MMA. 

Before that, he competed in the Ultimate Fighting Championship for 16 straight years during which he earned around $3.5 million. At the moment, Frank Mir’s net worth is estimated at around $11 million.

His monthly salary amounts to $145,000, which means he earns around $1.7 million a year. 

Conclusion

If you want to be an athlete and earn millions of dollars, becoming a UFC fighter is probably not the easiest way to do it. We recommend golf, tennis, or football. 

However, if you like living dangerously and you’re not afraid of getting punched in the face from time to time, nothing is stopping you from becoming the next highest-paid UFC fighter.

As you can see, the best of the best UFC athletes earn millions not just from salaries, but also from bonuses and endorsements. 

Do you think their paychecks are fair? Do you think they should earn less or more? Let us know in the comments below.

Sources:

1. Playerswiki
2. The Sports Daily
3. Forbes
4. Sportskeeda
5. The Sports Daily
6. Celebrity Net Worth
7. MMA Fighting
8. The Street
9. The Sports Daily
10. Itsgame7
11. Mmajunkie.usatoday.com
12. The Street
13. Players Wiki
14. Sport Bible
15. Spotrac
16. The Street
17. SportsMedia101
18. The Sports Daily
19. The Street
20. Sportskeeda
21. Sport Bible
22. Statista
23. Money
24. The Sports Daily
25. Mmafighting
26. Statista
27. The Sports Daily
28. Sportskeeda
29. Statista
30. The Sports Daily
31. Players Wiki

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