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Conor McGregor celebrates beating Eddie Alvarez during UFC 205 at Madison Square Garden. (Photo by Jason Silva/Zuma Press/Icon Sportswire)
September 1st, 2021
Every MMA fighter dreams of making it big in the UFC, where toughness and guile can result in outrageous fortune and fame. We've crunched the numbers and have identified the five highest paid fighters to ever step foot in the octagon.
Total career earnings: $7,135,000Biggest payday: $540,000 vs. Georges St-Pierre, UFC 217
The former middleweight champion had a long, decorated career as a fighter in demand. Bisping saw his fortunes turn after his 2011 win over Jason Miller, and enjoyed back-to-back career-high paydays after stunning Luke Rockhold to win the middleweight title in 2016.
Total career earnings: $8,732,000Biggest payday: $820,000 vs. Derek Brunson, UFC 208
The Spider is recognized as one of the greatest ever, and his long reign atop the middleweight division ensured financial success. Even as Silva was coming out of his prime, a longterm contract with the UFC saw him getting paid very well until his final fight in 2020.
Total career earnings: $10,204,500Biggest payday: $860,000 three times: UFC 218, UFC 225, UFC Fight Night: Blaydes vs. Ngannou 2
Overeem came into the UFC with a lot of hype and delivered in a big way, though falling short in his lone heavyweight title fight against Stipe Miocic. From 2016 to 2019, Overeem fought seven times and took home an average of $826,357 per fight.
Total career earnings: $14,770,000Biggest payday: $6,090,000 twice: UFC 242, UFC 254
Nurmagomedov’s unlikely late career explosion saw him quickly skyrocket to the top of all-time UFC earners, and his decision to walk away at the peak of his powers prevented him from reaching the top of this list. The undefeated lightweight champion pulled in back-to-back $6,090,000 payouts for his final two fights in the UFC before retiring in 2020.
Total career earnings: $25,104,000Biggest payday: $5,011,000 twice: UFC 257, UFC 264
Is there any surprise who else would be at the top of this list? McGregor is not only the biggest star the UFC has ever produced, but also its most successful. Ironically, McGregor’s biggest paydays have come from his most recent pair of losses to Dustin Poirier. As impressive as McGregor’s haul in the UFC is, he netted as much as $100 million for his 2017 boxing match against Floyd Mayweather Jr.
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