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Highest paid MMA fighters of all time

Over the past few years, such a sport as MMA has gained popularity. Mixed martial arts is a sport that combines the techniques of boxing, jiu-jitsu, kickboxing, muay thai, karate, wrestling, and other martial arts. The sport is still banned in some countries, such as France and Norway.

But despite this, MMA fights managed to gain great popularity in many countries – in the USA, Japan, Russia, and others. The most popular MMA fighters have a huge following around the world and make good money. In this review, we present a ranking of the highest-paid MMA wrestlers in history.

The Chinese edition of the South China Morning Post has published a list of the highest-paid MMA fighters, which includes athletes whose names are known not only to fans of this sport but also to ordinary people. More information about UFC career, UFC fights, and richest MMA fighter rating can be found on superbetting.

Conor McGregor

In the first place on this list is the Irish mixed fighter, Conor McGregor. He is the richest athlete in the history of the sport. Because the spotter is popular, he earns his income not only from fights but also from advertising contracts with well-known brands. However, the main income is still made up of performances in the ring. The official average athlete’s fee for one fight is about $ 3 million. It is worth noting that the athlete receives this amount in any case – regardless of whether the match ends in victory or defeat. In addition, he also receives additional money if he wins the fight, as well as a percentage of stream views and bonuses from sponsors. For example, every fight in the UFC is broadcast by a paid service Pay-per-view, which sends a percentage to the athlete. An example is the fight of Conor McGregor against the Russian athlete Khabib Nurmagomedov – in addition to $ 3 million for the fight, McGregor also received a percentage of the sales of the PPV service, which amounted to $ 50 million. Thus, Conor’s fee for one fight was $ 53 million.

Throughout his career at the moment, the Irish athlete has earned more than $ 400 million in his career. At the same time, his fee in the Absolute Fighting Championship (UFC) McGregor was 22 million.

Khabib Nurmagomedov

The second place in the rating is occupied by the Russian athlete Khabib Nurmagomedov. According to the South China Morning Post, while he also makes good money on mixed martial arts, his income is about ten times less than Conor McGregor’s – about $ 40 million. In addition to the fights themselves, a significant amount of income also comes from advertising contracts and business.

The athlete gained particular popularity in 2018 when he first became the UFC lightweight champion, and then had a famous fight against Conor McGregor, as a result of which he managed to defend his title. Speaking about the fact that he has become popular not only in sports but also in show business, it is worth mentioning that in 2019 the famous Forbes magazine named him the most successful star of show business and sports under 40 years old.

According to Forbes, Khabib Nurmagomedov earned $ 11.5 million in one year from advertising campaigns alone.

For the fight with the famous American fighter Justin Gaethje, the athlete received $ 3 million, as well as a percentage of TV sales and a 90 thousand bonus. For the fight with Dustin Poirier, the athlete received $ 4 million, and for the fight with Conor McGregor – $ 2 million (these amounts do not include bonuses from sponsors and a percentage of the sale of TV broadcasts).

Georges Saint-Pierre

The third place in the ranking of the highest-paid MMA fighters is occupied by the ex-champion of two UFC divisions, Canadian Georges Saint-Pierre. According to the newspaper, his income is $ 30 million. It is known that many athletes were involved in scandals with the leaders of the UFC league due to financial disagreements.

So Saint-Pierre said that in 4 years his salary had grown from $ 3 thousand to millions in royalties. For his first fight in the UFC, when the athlete defeated Karo Parisian, he earned $ 3 thousand, and after losing in the first round during a fight with Matt Hughes, he was paid $ 9 thousand. According to Forbes, Georges Saint-Pierre earned $ 9 million only for fights with Nick Diaz and Johnny Hendrix. According to the athlete himself, the ability to negotiate with the leaders of the UFC league plays an important role.

Brock Lesnar

The fourth and fifth highest-paid fighters of all time are American Brock Lesnar and former UFC two-weight champion BJ Penn.

For his first fight, Brock Lesnar received $ 250,000, and in total, he spent 8 fights in the UFC. The fee for the last fight of the athlete was $ 2.5 million. In addition, the athlete is known to have led UFC 100 and UFC 200 tournaments and received his interest from the sale of 7.5 million paid broadcasts.

BJ Penn

American fighter BJ Penn, according to the service, is the first non-Brazilian to become the world champion in Jiu-Jitsu. During his career, he earned about $ 22 million, and half of his income came from advertising partnerships with the famous sportswear brand Reebok.


Thanks to the great popularity of mixed martial arts, the most famous athletes in this sport are making good money. As mentioned above, not only participation in fights brings income to fighters, but also numerous advertising contracts, as well as bonuses from sponsors and percentages from sales of paid broadcasts of matches.

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