When it comes to mixed martial arts, the UFC is the best of the best. Not all the fighters make millions of dollars – some just make six figures – but the top dogs earn as much as, if not more than any other elite athlete. Well, maybe that’s why they’re the highest paid UFC fighters you can find.
It’s difficult to know how much UFC fighters are paid or the highest paid ufc fighter because the UFC doesn’t reveal whole fighter salaries (PPV percentages, bonuses, etc.).
Fortunately, most fighters’ salaries are quite stable, so we can make educated guesses and eventually break down precise statistics.
In this post, we will give you a list of the 15 highest-paid UFC fighters in the world. We base these statistics only on their UFC pay and ignore all other sources of income.
Make sure you read through this article to the end, as it promises to be very exciting.
Table of Contents Hide
- 15 Highest-Paid UFC Fighters In The World
- Is It Worth It to Buy UFC Fight Pass?
- What Is Included in the UFC Fight Pass?
- Is Kung Fu Permitted in the UFC?
- Is coffee legal for UFC (MMA) fighters?
- What is the UFC fighter salary per fight?
15 Highest-Paid UFC Fighters In The World
Conor McGregor is the all-time highest-paid UFC fighter. He is by far the most popular participant in the promotion so far, as seen by his payouts. In each of his last five matches, he is the only fighter to draw seven-figure sums.
Despite only fighting twice since 2016, Conor McGregor has a significant lead over the competition.
According to Forbes, Conor McGregor earned $3 million from the UFC alone for his battle with Khabib Nurmagomedov. He took home more than $50 million.
Every fighter that fought him got paid the most they ever got in their careers (“Red Panty Night”), so whether you love him or hate him, McGregor is a business genius.
According to Conor’s own words, the Donald Cerrone big fight in January 2020 earned him an estimated $80 million.
These sums, however, pale compared to Conor McGregor’s earnings from his Money Fight boxing battle with Floyd Mayweather.
The Irishman’s official fee for the match was $30 million, but he reportedly earned approximately $130 million, which is far more than everyone else on this list combined.
2. Khabib Nurmagomedov
It’s no surprise that Khabib Nurmagomedov is at the top of this list, having only lost a round or two in his career, let alone a fight (29-0).
However, starting with the Conor McGregor fight at UFC 229, He earned 92.9% of his career earnings in his final three fights.
He is one of UFC’s biggest and most celebrated champions. H is an expected name among the top-earning stars of the promotion.
The retired-yet-reigning lightweight Champion is 13-0 in UFC. $8.68 million has come from his fights against Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier. ‘
The Eagle reportedly earned $2,540,000 against McGregor and more than $6,000,000 against Poirier.
He should have made $2 million for the fight, but instead paid $500k for the after-fight incident.
McGregor’s mistreatment eventually showed the UFC how valuable he is, and he was paid $6 million for each of his next two fights to prove it, plus $90,000 in incentive money and post-fight bonuses.
The PPV figures were never revealed, but it’s safe to assume they were much more than $6 million.
3. Alistair Overeem
When a fighter knocks out Brock Lesnar in their first fight, big things are in store for them. Alistair Overeem won that fight alone for a six-figure sum.
He has earned more than $800,000 in each of his last six to eight fights. He has won both of his fights this year, the first against Walt Harris and the second against Augusto Sakai, both by knockout.
The $10.2 million would almost certainly double if the salaries of Alistair Overeem’s fights outside of the UFC were made public.
Even still, reaching $10 million in stated compensation for a UFC fighter is so uncommon that just two other men have done it (without PPV numbers, of course).
The majority of that money came from a lucrative contract with the UFC, which lasted from May 2016 to November 2018.
Alistair received at least $800,000 for each of the seven bouts he competed in during that time period, accounting for half of the money he earned.
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4. Andrei Arlovski
Most fans, especially young fans who haven’t seen ‘The Pitbull’ in his peak, may be surprised to see Andrei Arlovski so high on this list.
Indeed, a significant portion of Arlovski’s career earnings (approximately $3 million) came from a few fights in between his UFC appearances, the most notable of which was a $1.5 million battle against Fedor Emelianenko in 2009 under the Affliction banner.
Even if you exclude those few fights, Andrei’s career earnings in the UFC would be roughly $7 million and PPV statistics, which would only move him down a few spots on this list.
He made his money by fighting for a long time, earning well over $300,000 in his last ten fights.
5. Anderson Silva
Anderson Silva was the face of the UFC and MMA for a long period. He was completely invincible and entertaining, but it was only when he lost his belt that he made real money.
His first fight, against Chris Weidman, was the first in which he was paid $600,000 just for showing up, and he received the same amount until his retirement.
After a knockout loss to Uriah Hall in October, Anderson Silva retired from the UFC to an outpouring of love and affection from the whole MMA world.
Anderson Silva has been one of the highest-paid UFC stars despite losing five of his past six fights.
The Middleweight GOAT debuted in the UFC with a $66,000 purse in his first fight, rising to a six-figure sum by his fourth.
His most lucrative fight came against Derek Brunson at UFC 208, where he earned a total of $820,000 — $600k for showing up, $20k from the Reebok sponsorship, and another $200k for winning.
6. Jon Jones
Jon Jones earned a lot more than $7.23 million during his UFC career. We don’t know the PPV shares, though; we just have the purses that are disclosed after each event.
Even though he has a lot of controversy surrounding him and his long career, arguably the finest fighter to ever compete in the UFC deserves all of his money.
Jon Jones, the former light heavyweight, and pound-for-pound champion have been in 15 pay-per-view events, most of which were title fights or defenses.
Jones’ biggest paycheck, according to rumors, came against Daniel Cormier at UFC 214, where he defeated DC and kept his LHW title.
The bout netted ‘Bones’ $580,000 in prize money. CSAC later overturned the decision.
Bones appears to be aiming for a huge increase after returning to the ring and being quite active for a time, having refused to fight for over a year following his battle with Dominick Reyes at UFC 247.
According to rumors, he wants a crack at heavyweight gold, which would boost his career earnings significantly.
7. Michael Bisping
From November 2009 till he won the championship seven years later, Michael Bisping received almost the same amount for each of his fights.
The Count earned his money via hard work and perseverance, having competed in over 25 UFC fights and earning a total of $7 135 000.
Bisping earned a staggering $540,000 for his battle with St. Pierre. He lost the battle via technical submission, but he earned a sizable sum that helped him climb the ranks.
‘The Count,’ who made his UFC debut at the TUF 3 Finale and retired in 2018, currently works as a UFC announcer and color analyst.
For his first championship defense against Dan Henderson and his title loss to Georges St-Pierre, he received the most money. Without PPV shares, both bouts netted him roughly half a million dollars.
8. Junior dos Santos
Junior dos Santos is also known as Cigano is a well-liked former heavyweight champion who is noted for his fiery demeanor and lethal striking ability.
His career earned him almost $7.1 million in stated salary, with PPV percentages for some of his best fights likely netting him even more.
The veteran Heavyweight made his UFC debut in 2008 against Fabricio Werdum and has since fought 21 times, six of which have netted him six figures.
Cigano’s highest-paid bout came at UFC 211 when he challenged Stipe Miocic for the Heavyweight Championship but lost as he was knocked out in the first round. Junior dos Santos was paid $830,000 for this match.
Georges St-Pierre is without a doubt one of the best fighters to ever compete in the octagon. Despite his humble beginnings, GSP finished his UFC career on a high note, earning a seven-figure salary for his much-anticipated 2017 rematch with Michael Bisping.
Throughout his career, he earned little over $7 million in disclosed pay, with about $2.6 million coming in the final fight of his career, four years after he first retired.
GSP retired as the defending welterweight champion, then returned to defeat ‘The Count’ and capture the middleweight title, becoming only the fourth fighter in UFC history to win multiple divisions, and earning a massive $2,580,000 payday.
10. Donald Cerrone
It’s only natural that the man with the most UFC victories should be on this list. Donald Cerrone, although never being the champion, worked hard for his money, fighting up to five times a year and always ready to put on a show.
Donald Cerrone has fought in over 50 fights and has won 36 of them. Although ‘Cowboy’ has been in the UFC for nearly a decade, it was only recently that he received his largest payday, due to Conor McGregor.
He earned more than $200,000 at UFC 246 despite losing in 40 seconds.
Over the course of his career, he made slightly over $7 million. In 2019, he earned $410k in a bout against Al Iaquinta, which was his highest-earning fight per disclosed pay.
11. Daniel Cormier
Average Salary: $6,586,500
Many people are upset that after becoming the UFC double champion, Daniel Cormier wanted to choose money bouts and advocated for Brock Lesnar to be his first title defense even though Brock hadn’t competed in years due to a failed drug test.
However, that fight never happened, and no one can deny that DC faced the finest of the best.
His reported remuneration of $6.59 million is probably little compared to the PPV percentages he received, as he carried a slew of high-profile PPV events, including the Stipe Miocic trilogy and two massive Jon Jones fights.
In addition, he is one of the highest paid UFC fighters.
12. Mark Hunt
Average Salary: $6,304,000
Mark Hunt, the renowned Super Samoan, was never a UFC champion, but his fights in the octagon made him one of the most famous fighters in the promotion’s history making him one of the highest paid UFC fighters.
One can say that he was underpaid for a long time before fighting Brock Lesnar and lost but earned a lot of money.
Lesnar tested positive for a banned drug and the result was overturned to NC by the NSAC. Hunt has made six digits in each of his five fights since then.
After Lesnar, he made at least $750k per night, bringing his total earnings to about $4 million in his past five fights, compared to around $2.3 million for the remainder of his career.
He’s only ever won once, against Derrick Lewis, who also happens to be his highest-paid opponent. The fight netted Mark Hunt $810,000, which included a Reebok agreement and a Fight of the Night prize.
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13. Stipe Miocic
Average salary: $6,068,000
I’m sure Stipe Miocic, the best UFC heavyweight fighter of all time, made a lot more money from PPV percentages, especially during the Daniel Cormier trilogy. He is one of the best highest paid ufc fighters
Even still, nearly $6 million in stated compensation isn’t terrible, considering he was only getting roughly $60k to show + $60k to win before he became champion.
His highest declared sum for a single bout was $750k to show up, $50k as the Performance of the Night bonus, and around $30-40k incentive pay at UFC 241 – the second DC fight, where he received $750k to show up, $50k as the Performance of the Night bonus, and around $30-40k incentive pay.
14. Vitor Belfort
Average Salary: $5,795,200
I’m not a great fan of Vitor Belfort because of his several doping violations, but he was one of the finest fighters in the UFC before USADA took control.
Belfort earned about $5.8 million in stated wages over the course of his long career, which included some great performances and knockouts.
Dan Henderson was the subject of some of his best-paid assignments.
Most notably, in their third bout, Belfort received $300,000 for showing up, $200,000 for winning, $50,000 for the Performance of the Night bonus, and around $10,000 from Reebok.
15. Dan Henderson
Average Salary: $5,480,000
Dan Henderson is, in my opinion, one of the best – if not the best – fighters who have never won a UFC title.
Despite this, he put on fantastic performance after incredible performance throughout his career, competing in divisions ranging from welterweight to heavyweight.
Take his career earnings of $5,480,000 with a grain of salt. His brief four-fight stint with Strikeforce in 2010 and 2011 contributed almost a million dollars to that total.
In the end, the UFC did him fairly, as his last two career fights netted him about $860k against Vince Lombard and $680k against Michael Bisping.
Connor McGregor is the highest paid UFC fighter. We hope you found this article exciting as promised. Please let us know what you think in the comments section below.
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Is It Worth It to Buy UFC Fight Pass?
For die-hard UFC fans, the UFC Fight Pass is an excellent choice. For a modest fee, they can access thousands of hours of historical information.
However, you can only watch the Early Prelims with the Fight Pass. UFC Fight Pass is simply not worth the money if you are a more casual fan.
What Is Included in the UFC Fight Pass?
UFC Fight Pass is a subscription-based video streaming service offered by the Ultimate Fighting Championship. UFC president Dana White described it as “Netflix for fight fans” when it was launched in December 2013.
Fight Pass offers a 24-hour linear streaming channel as well as a library of on-demand material. You can watch all of the Early Prelims action from PPV events on UFC Fight Pass.
Is Kung Fu Permitted in the UFC?
Kung Fu, like any other martial art, is allowed to be used in the UFC to some level. Eye pokes, crotch shots, and elbows to the back of the head are among the techniques that are prohibited in some schools of Kung Fu.
As a result, under the UFC’s MMA rules, you can only use a limited number of pieces.
Is coffee legal for UFC (MMA) fighters?
Caffeine and coffee are frequently used by MMA fighters as an energy boost.
While some fighters drink it before a workout as part of their training, others drink it before a fight if it is permitted.
It’s consumed raw and in the form of caffeine-based energy drinks by fighters.
What is the UFC fighter salary per fight?
According to the International Business Times, UFC fighters are paid in three tiers: low, medium, and high, with the lowest earning between $10,000 and $30,000 every fight and the most earning between $500,000 and $3,000,000 per battle.