UFC fighters are complaining about their salary in recent times, but how much are they worth? Who’s ranked number one in the richest UFC fighters list?
UFC has come a long way since the days it was a no-holds-barred fighting event. Rookie fighters used to enter the ring expecting a slightly bigger paycheck than traditional wrestling competitions, but with far more risks involved.
Nowadays, the industry has evolved into a multibillion-dollar enterprise, has stricter guidelines, and far more lucrative financial incentives for its fighters. Today, we will take a look at 20 of the world’s richest UFC players and discuss each of their current net worth.
Who’s the richest UFC fighter? You might already know the answer to that question if you are an avid UFC follower. Just in case you don’t, we are going to reveal who it is towards the end of this piece.
But before we get to that, let’s see which other UFC contestants made the list.
20. Rashad Evans
Net worth: $8.5m
Before hanging up his gloves in 2018, Rashad Evans enjoyed a very successful UFC career that spanned across 15 years.
He started his MMA career in 2003 and rose to prominence winning the heavyweight division in the second season of Ultimate Fighters in 2005.
He landed a UFC contract afterward, and because of his height (6’7’’) and weight (102kg), he chose to drop down to light heavyweight division.
Evans won the UFC Light Heavyweight Championship in 2008, knocking out defending champion Forrest Griffin in UFC 92. Rashid was honored as a UFC Hall of Fame inductee in 2019. He won 19 of the 28 bouts he has been in his career.
19. Michael Bisping
Net worth: $9m
Michael Bisping became the first British MMA artist to participate in a UFC main event when he took the ring to face Rashad Evans in UFC 78.
Even though Bisping lost to Evans that day, he went on to become the first British fighter to win a UFC title when he lifted the UFC Middleweight Championship in 2016.
To this day, he remains the only British national to achieve that feat. The 41-year-old, who is currently an actor and a sports analyst, was inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame in 2019. 30 of the 39 bouts Bisping took part in went in his favor.
18. José Aldo
Net worth: $9m
José Aldo is a distinguished fighter in the UFC, who is given credit for successfully blending Muay Thai tactics into traditional MMA fighting.
Aldo won the fourth and final iteration of (WEC) World Extreme Cagefighting Featherweight Championship before the competition was merged with UFC.
The Brazilian brought his fine form to UFC when he claimed the first UFC Featherweight title in 2010. Overall, the 33-year-old has won three Featherweight championships in his career.
“The Greatest Featherweight In Mixed Martial Arts History”
In 2017, Sherdog named him ‘’the greatest featherweight in mixed martial arts history.” He successfully made 7 title defenses in UFC Featherweight history, which happens to be a world record.
17. Junior dos Santos
Net worth: $10m
Junior dos Santos made an instant impression on UFC fans when he knocked out high-profile participant Fabrício Werdum in 80 seconds with a powerful uppercut on his UFC debut in 2008.
The Brazilian went the first four years of his UFC career undefeated before he succumbed to a 15-2 loss against two-times UFC Heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez in 2012.
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Ironically, Santos won his only UFC Heavyweight Championship belt beating Velasquez the year before. As of May 2020, Junior dos Santos has won against five former UFC heavyweight champions. He was a coach in Ultimate Fighter season 13.
16. Jon ‘’Bones’’ Jones
Net worth: $10m
Jon Jones has a superhero namesake (technically, it’s J’onn J’onzz-the Martian Manhunter. But, both sounds the same!), and his UFC career progression has been very superhero-like indeed.
As of May 2020, the Ithaca guy has lost only once since his UFC debut back in 2008. The three times Lightweight Champion did come upon a stumbling block when he was expelled from the competition after being convicted of a hit-and-run crime.
Upon his 2016 return, Jones carried on his winning run but he got suspended again for taking illegal performance-enhancing steroids. After returning from his drug abuse ban, Jones beat Alexander Gustafsson and won back his title.
15. Chael Sonnen
Net worth: $10m
Chael Sonnen is fresh into his retirement days, having said goodbye to the ring in 2019.
The 43-year-old had an on-again-off-again relationship with UFC, with the company permanently cutting off all of its ties with Sonnen following a series of failed drug tests.
Despite the controversies, Sonnen was a top contender in the competition and fought in both UFC Light Heavyweight and UFC Middleweight categories.
Sonnen got the better of many world champions in individual fights, but he never managed to win a UFC championship in his career. He won the World MMA Fight of the Year in 2010 against Anderson Silva.
14. Frank Mir
Net worth: $11m
Frank Mir’s UFC days are past him, but he is still an active MMA professional. Currently plying his trade in the Bellator MMA Heavyweight division, Mir spent 16 years of his career as a UFC fighter.
Before his 2017 departure, the American fighter has won a record number fights (16) in the UFC Heavyweight Championships and boasts a four-match winning streak, which is also a divisional record.
Guess what? He also has the record of registering the highest number of submission wins (9) in UFC’s heavyweight section. Despite his plethora of records, the-41-year-old won the Heavyweight Championships only once.
13. Ronda Rousey
Net worth: $11m
You might have expected to find Ronda Rousey higher up the richest UFC fighters ladder, but she sits 13th on the list in 2020.
At the moment, Rousey has retired from MMA and focused her attention on WWE and Hollywood.
But, she left an illustrious legacy behind before bringing an end to her UFC stint. After winning a gold medal in judo for the United States in the 2008 Olympics, the California-born decided to pursue a different career trajectory and take on MMA.
She made her official UFC debut in 2013 and contested her last match in 2016. In between, Rousey immortalized herself in UFC folklore having defended the UFC Women’s Bantamweight Championship a record 6 times! She is also the first woman inductee of the UFC Hall of Fame.
12. Quinton “Rampage” Jackson
Net worth: $12m
Quinton Jackson is one of the legendary UFC fighters, who catapulted the franchise to global success.
Like many professional wrestlers, Quinton made the transition to MMA and became a star in the Pride Championships in Japan.
In 2006, ‘Rampage’ moved back to the USA and signed up for World Fighting Alliance, which went on to be acquired by UFC the following year. In 2007, “Rampage” won the UFC Lightweight Championships defeating former Pride rival Chuck Liddell.
September 2009, Jackson announced his retirement from fighting only to return months later to participate in UFC 114. Jackson became a UFC fan-favorite for his eccentric appearance on the ring. The 41-year-old currently competes in Bellator MMA.
11. Chuck Liddell
Net worth: $14m
Chuck Lidell is another MMA fighter who pioneered UFC’s growth to a mainstream event. Before coming into the world of UFC, Lindell tried his hands at a variety of aggressive sports including Brazilian jiu-jitsu, wrestling, kenpo, kickboxing, and karate.
It didn’t take him long to make an impression after his 1998 UFC debut. After a series of high-profile victories, Lidell was selected as the first UFC representative to fight in Pride.
In his 23 bout UFC career, the Californian won the UFC Light Heavyweight Championship with four title defenses. Chuck Lidell became a UFC Hall of Fame inductee in 2009.
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10. Tito Ortiz
Net worth: $15m
Tito Ortiz is one of the earliest UFC celebrities, so it doesn’t come as a surprise that the 45-year-old features in the all-time richest UFC fighters list.
Ortiz was immensely popular during his famous days. His 2006 bouts with Chuck Lidell, Forrest Griffin, and Ken Shamrock drew record numbers of pay-per-view audience.
Ortiz was a UFC Light Heavyweight champion with 5 successful title defenses. Ortiz is still active an MMA artist, but he currently has no associations with UFC.
At present, he has a contract with Combate America. Ortiz became a UFC Hall of Fame inductee on July 7 2012, right before his UFC 148 bout with Forrest Griffin.
9. Alistair Overeem
Net worth: $15m
Alistair Overeem earned his name in kickboxing, but he gave it up to pursue a career in MMA.
The former world kickboxing championship has won MMA titles in the forms of Strikeforce Heavyweight Championships and DREAM Heavyweight Championships.
He is the only combative sportsman who has the bragging rights of world titles in MMA and kickboxing simultaneously.
As of May 2020, the Dutchman has no UFC title. But, he has already become one of the richest UFC fighters in the world.
8. Randy “The Natural” Couture
Net worth: $17m
Randy Couture is one of the most successful players in UFC history and is also one of the richest UFC fighters of all time.
The former US Army sergeant has won UFC titles in two different weight classes; a feat which he shares with only six other UFC fighters- Conor McGregor, BJ Penn, Georges St-Pierre, Daniel Cormier, Amanda Nunes, and Henry Cejudo.
Couture became a UFC Hall of Fame inductee in 2006 before going on retirement. He reversed his retirement decision later and reclaimed the UFC Heavyweight title by beating Tom Sylvia in UFC 68.
Couture is the only UFC fighter who won a UFC title after earning UFC Hall of Fame status.
7. Wanderlei Silva
Net worth: $18m
Wanderlei Silva is more of a Pride legend rather than a UFC one. That said, the Brazilian will definitely go down as one of the most memorable contestants of the tournament.
Silva has had an outrageously successful career at the Pride Championships. He won a record number of matches in the Japanese competition, made a record number of title defenses, knockouts, and also enjoyed the longest winning streak in the competition’s history.
Silva had two UFC spells in his career, but in neither of those, he managed to replicate his Pride accomplishments. But, he made enough money to rank high up the list of the richest UFC fighters.
6. Anderson Silva
Net worth: $18m
Anderson Silva is one of the best among the current crop of UFC fighters. UFC President Dana White went as far as to label the Brazilian as the greatest MMA fighter of all time.
Anderson made history by retaining the UFC Middleweight Championship title for a whopping 2,457 days between 2006 and 2013. This resulted in 16 successive wins, which is also a record across all UFC weight categories.
The 45-year-old was named the Fighter of the Year by Sports Illustrated in 2008. In the same year, Anderson won the World MMA Award in the Fighter of the Year category.
5. BJ Penn
Net worth: $22m
Jay Dee “B.J.” Penn belongs to an elite group of UFC fighters who have won UFC titles in two different divisions. Also known as “The Prodigy”, the Hawaiian won the UFC Lightweight Championships in 2008.
Four years earlier, Penn had won the UFC Welterweight Championships as he pulled off a surprise win in UFC 46 against defending Welterweight title-holder Matt Hughes.
The former World Jiu-Jitsu champion is one of the biggest stars UFC has ever produced. Penn made it to the top 5 in FightersOnly! Magazine ‘100 Greatest Fighters in History’. In 2015, he became a UFC Hall of Famer.
4. Brock Lesnar
Net worth: $28m
Brock Lesnar has had a diverse career as a sportsperson. He is currently a WWE superstar, was in contention for a defensive tackle role in NFL outfit Minnesota Vikings, and also had the opportunity to lift the UFC Heavyweight Championship belt.
Before Lesnar jumped ships to WWE, he was one of the headliners in UFC. He has won 5 his 9 career bouts as a UFC fighter. The former US National Guard member did attempt to revive his UFC career in 2016, but his return was cut short after he tested positive for clomiphene.
3. George St-Pierre
Net worth: $30m
Georges St-Pierre has had an enviable journey as an MMA professional that sets him on par with the greatest names of the sport.
The Canadian has won the UFC Welterweight Championship and the UFC Middleweight Championship during his playing days.
After winning three UFC Welterweight titles, St-Pierre had to take a three-year break from the game in 2014 as he sustained a serious ACL injury.
The 2020 UFC Hall of Famer returned to professional MMA in 2017 and won the Middleweight Championship beating Michael Bisping at UFC 217.
2. Rorion Gracie
Net worth: $50m
“Who’s the richest UFC fighter?”-we are almost close to revealing his identity! But before that, we must highlight the second wealthiest UFC fighter.
Rorion Gracie ranks second in the list of the richest UFC fighters ever, even though technically, he’s not an MMA fighter.
Gracie is a Brazilian jiu-jitsu grandmaster, who holds a prestigious 9th degree red belt in the discipline. The Brazilian never fought in the competition professionally, but he’s a co-founder of UFC.
Gracie’s UFC involvement made us consider him for this piece. Currently, the 68-year-old has a net worth of $50m.
Who’s the Richest UFC Fighter?
1. Conor McGregor
Net worth: $110m
Conor McGregor is the only UFC fighter whose net worth is in the north of the $100m landmark. The recently retired Irish fighter is the only one in UFC history who managed to maintain two different weight division titles at the same time.
McGregor has won two UFC Featherweight Championships, including an interim one, and a UFC Lightweight Championship. One of the UFC fastest knockouts in history against Jose Aldo. The 31-year-old reportedly made $130m from his boxing encounter with quintuple champion Floyd Mayweather Jr. in 2017.
This made McGregor the crème de la crème in the list of the richest UFC fighters to date.