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: $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 the 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: $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 became 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. Jose Aldo net worth is around $10m.
Aldo specializes in Muay Thai and has garnered a reputation as one of the best in the discipline. His greatness as a Muay Thai artist also makes him one of the best fighters in UFC history.
However, Muay Thai was not his first passion while growing up. He dreamt of being a footballer like most Brazilian youngsters do. But, Aldo felt the need to take up combative sports to defend himself against bullies.
It’s safe to assume that Aldo straightened up a few bullies back in his childhood days. But, he became so good at fighting that he started to contemplate carving a career out of it.
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.
Right now, Aldo receives $400,000 on average in purse money for his fights. It’s a drastic upgrade from the $20,000 he had won for his first UFC win back in 2011.
Aldo’s wife Vivianne Aldo is also a Muay Thai enthusiast and holds a jiu-jitsu purple belt. But, she does not compete professionally. The couple has been together since 2005.
“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.
Dos Santos took up martial arts as a high school student to attain a better physical shape. His trainer recognised his potential and inspired him to pursue it more seriously. Hence, a UFC great was born.
Before UFC, Santos became a phenomenon in the Brazilian MMA circuit. He made his first professional MMA appearance in 2006. Just two years after that, he found himself fighting in a UFC octagon.
Thanks to an impressive career, Junior Dos Santos net worth of 2021 stands at $10m. In 2014, his net worth was around $2.5m. Just in a matter of six years, he managed to quadruple his financial value.
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.
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.
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The Cacador-born has earned $5.5m from his career winnings. This amount does not include bonuses and sponsorship money. If you take all that into account, the number would appear much higher.
From a single fight, Santos’s biggest payday came in 2018. He defeated Stipe Miocic in UFC 2011 and made $830,000 in total. His previous best earning also came against the same opposition ($250k, 2014).
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.
One could surmise that Jon Jones net worth 2020 would have been far more than 10 million, had he had the opportunity to have a controversy-free career.
Despite his criminal past, Jones has earned a lot of plaudits for his relentless charity work in recent times. He raised funds for The Pediatric Cancer Foundation.
Moreover, he has been working with several organizations to aid and prove shelter to homeless people. During the Black Lives Matter movement, he defended his neighbourhood streets from vandalism.
While there is no evidence of a ceremonial marriage, some reports claim that Jones has tied the knot with his long-term fiancee and mother of his three daughters, Jessie Moses.
In 2012, Jones made history when Nike offered him a sponsorship deal. It was the first time an MMA professional represented the US sportswear giants. However, the deal was terminated two years later.
15. Chael Sonnen Net worth: $10m
Chael Sonnen is fresh into his retirement days, having said goodbye to the ring in 2019. He is another case of “what could have been” as drug abuse kept him from fulfilling his full potential.
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.
Still, Sonnen managed to amass a net worth $10m, that puts him above many accomplished fighters in the richest UFC fighters list. After retirement, he joined ESPN as an analyst.
He is also the host of his podcast “ You’re welcome! With Chael Sonnen”. He invites former MMA players to his show and interviews them. However, it is yet to catch mainstream popularity.
He has achieved more success on YouTube. As of December 2020, he has 731,000 subscribers and has more than two thousand videos in his profile. He has been a YouTuber since 2015.
In his channel, he talks about upcoming UFC fights, his past fights, relationship with other fighters, and many more. He makes around $150,000 annually from his channel.
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.
Being successful in multiple MMA competitions has helped Mir to make a huge fortune. Frank Mir net worth 2020 is $11m, and his current Bellator contract reportedly brings in $1.75m a year.
Mir has been happily married to his wife Jennifer Mir since 2004. The couple has three children (Isabela, Cage, & Ronin). Jennifer’s son Marcus, who is from a past relationship, is also part of the family.
Mir’s daughter Isabela Mir is an MMA enthusiast. It is widely believed that she will go down her father’s path and become an MMA professional. Some of her training and fighting videos have emerged online.
Mir’s career seemed destined to suffer a premature end when he suffered a motorcycle accident and broke his leg in 2004. But, he bounced back from that situation and built a buoyant fighting career.
Besides MMA, Mir has also dipped his toe into the world of professional wrestling. In 2019, he fought his first wrestling match under the banner of Game Changer Wrestling (GCW).
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. But, we expect her to reach higher ranks pretty soon.
At the moment, Rousey has retired from MMA and focused her attention on WWE and Hollywood. She made her acting debut in Sylvester Stallone’s The Expendables 3 in 2014.
In subsequent years, she appeared in big-budget Hollywood projects like the Furious 7 and The Entourage. She also hosted a Saturday Night Live episode in 2016.
Rousey has also gained prominence as a glamour model. She made headlines posing nude for the ESPN Body Issue in 2012. Afterwards, she appeared on Sports Illustrated, Maxim, and Australia’s Men’s Fitness.
Hefty endorsement deals have also contributed significantly to building Rousey’s financial empire. She has had the privilege to represent Reebok, Insureon, MetroPCS, and many more.
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.
Politically, Rousey identifies herself as a democratic socialist and had publicly endorsed Bernie Sanders for the 2016 US presidential elections. She is married to UFC fighter Travis Browne.
Browne and she got engaged in New Zealand in April 2017. Two months later, they exchanged vows in Hawaii. The couple lives in Venice, California.
12. Quinton “Rampage” Jackson Net worth: $12m
Quinton Jackson is one of the legendary UFC fighters, who catapulted the franchise to global success. He is also one of the richest UFC fighters having accumulated a net worth of $12m.
Like many professional wrestlers, Quinton made the transition to MMA and became a star in the Pride Championships in Japan. He spent five years there but failed to win any titles.
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.
During his stay in Japan, Jackson got married to Yuki Jackson, with whom he has four children. Their marriage broke down when a paternity test proved that he has fathered a child extramaritally.
Like many UFC fighters in this list, Jackson has also had the chance to feature in Hollywood films. His most notable work to date is the 2014 flick “The A-Team.”
The A-Team was a high-profile project that had been in development for decades. Jackson starred alongside the likes of Bradley Cooper, Liam Neeson, and Jessica Biel.
Jackson says that he is a fan of the Premier League club Everton. He is close friends to former Toffees star Tim Howard and one of his physios also work with the club.
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.
The Iceman has made an astonishing amount of wealth during his UFC career. His first earning as a UFC fighter was only $1000. Before retirement, he was making 500 grand from appearance only.
He has also done some acting, like many of his UFC colleagues. He made a cameo appearance in Kick-Ass 2 in 2013 as himself. Appearing sporadically in many TV shows, including Entourage and Bones.
At present, he is the brand ambassador of Bellator MMA. He is said to draw a handsome amount of remuneration for being the face of the organization. He has an online memorabilia store named The Ultimate Iceman.
His wife Heidi Northcott plays poker professionally and is the Vice President of an online marketing farm. The couple had famously appeared together on a Reebok commercial.
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 defences. Ortiz is still active an MMA artist, but he currently has no associations with UFC.
Ortiz’s biggest paycheck in his career came in his second fight against Chuck Liddell. The Huntington Beach Bad Boy took home a total of $3.2m, including PPV payouts.
While attending The Howard Stern Show in 2015, Ortiz claimed that he has a net worth of $50m. But, our evaluation of his earnings and current assets suggests that he was overvaluing his net worth.
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. He has also participated in competitive athletics, judo, and basketball.
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. He has 47 MMA wins to his name.
As of May 2020, the Dutchman has no UFC title. But, he has already become one of the richest UFC fighters in the world. He currently has a net worth of as much as $15m.
Overeem made his MMA debut in 2002 when he got the better of Yusuke Imamura in a Pride FC fight in Tokyo. Reportedly, his first professional win got him $10,000.
Of course, his future winnings would dwarf that number. His famous UFC 141 win over Brock Lesnar made him no less than $380,000. He featured in only 2 UFC bouts in 2019 but still made $2.19m.
Overeem’s UFC fight against Walt Harris got rescheduled to May 16, 2020, because of the pandemic. The exact figures are not known, but we believe his winning did not go beyond the $500k mark from that event.
8. Randy “The Natural” Couture Net worth: $17m
Randy Couture is one of the most successful guy in UFC history and is also one of the richest UFC fighters of all time. Apart from the octagon, Couture has also worked as an actor.
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’s most famous work as an actor is The Expandables. He appeared in all three instalments of the series, and have reportedly made around $1.5 million from those movies.
Other than The Expandables, Couture made appearances in three episodes of Hawaii Five-0. He starred alongside Bruce Willis and 50 Cent in the 2011film Setup.
Couture is the only UFC fighter who won a UFC title after earning UFC Hall of Fame status. He achieved this remarkable feat when he humbled Tim Sylvia in UFC 68 and won the UFC heavyweight belt.
7. Wanderlei Silva Net worth: $18m
Wanderlei Silva is more of a Pride legend rather than a UFC one. That said, the Brazilian will 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 defences, 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.
The Brazilian currently has a net worth of $18m, which makes him seventh in our UFC richest fighters list. Without considering PPV and backroom bonuses, he made $2.5 million from UFC and Bellator bouts.
When you sum up all the income including sponsorship money, Silva trumps many prominent MMA fighters, in terms of financial profile. In 2019, Silva established his gym in Las Vegas.
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. Naturally, he ranks quite high on the richest UFC fighters list.
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 Sao Paolo native started his UFC journey in 2006. His first UFC check cashed for $30,000, half of it attributed to appearance money, while the other half was winning bonus.
Silva climbed up the ranks in following years, and now boasts the most expensive contract in UFC. This guarantees him a $750,000 payout without PPV bonus.
Anderson Silva has been endorsed by one of Brazil’s biggest football clubs Corinthians since 2011. In 2018, Silva signed a partnership with the club to open an MMA gym at the club’s home ground in Itaquera.
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.
With a net worth of $22m, BJ Penn comes fifth in the all-time richest UFC fighters list.
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
Penn banked $380,000 for his UFC 123 win over Matt Hughes. It’s his largest career haul till now. He also brought in more than $300,000 for his UFC 101 win over Kenny Florian.
In 2018, Penn, who is originally from Hawaii, made a guest appearance in a season 8 episode of popular police drama Hawaii Five-0. He also starred in the 2009 MMA film Never Surrender.
Penn is also a successful author. He penned his autobiography Why I Fight: The Belt is Just an Accessory with Dave Weintraub, which came out in 2010. The book ranked 22nd on the New York Time’s bestseller list. 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.
Lesnar’s current net worth sits at $28m, and most of it came from his WWE career. He signed a $12m deal with WWE, which translates in a $500,000 appearance fee for each event.
The three-time WWE champion loves to live an extravagant life. He has an armada of luxury cars featuring Jaguar, Mercedes Benz, Alfa Romeo, and Range Rover.
Lesnar and his family currently live in Maryland, Saskatchewan, Canada. Before moving there, he sold his Minneapolis estate for a cut-price of $750,000. He had originally paid $783, 500 for it in 2003.
Brock Lesnar net worth 2020 is $28 million, which makes him one of the richest UFC fighters ever.
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. He emerged victorious in 26 of his 28 MMA encounters.
The Canadian has won the UFC Welterweight Championship and the UFC Middleweight Championship during his active years. He made his UFC debut in UFC 46 as he went on to trounce Karo Parisyan.
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.
St-Pierre made big money during his UFC career. His per fight incomes often summed up to six-figure numbers at times. In 2014, Joe Rogan revealed that GSP made $5m from a single fight once.
St-Pierre also received hefty amounts from his sponsors. Under Armour, Coca Cola, Bacardi, Electronic Arts-several high profile names appear on his list of endorsements.
The 2020 UFC Hall of Famer returned to professional MMA in 2017 and won the Middleweight Championship beating Michael Bisping at UFC 217. He went back to retirement afterwards.
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. Nonetheless, he is considered as an MMA legend.
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.
Rorion worked as a fight choreographer in Lethal Weapon 3. He trained Hollywood star Renne Russo for the film and also worked with her stunt double.
Back in the 70s, Rorion used to train US Marines in handheld combat. He started at Rio de Janeiro’s US consulate and moved to the US in subsequent years. He had also trained CIA operatives.
In 2010, Rorion wrote a book on dietary discipline for athletes entitled Gracie’s Diet. In it, he shares his uncle’s findings on devising the optimum diet for sports and fitness professionals.
Gracie’s UFC involvement made us consider him for this piece. Currently, the 68-year-old has a net worth of $50m. This should not come as a surprise, considering he co-founded a billion-dollar industry.
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.
‘’The Notorious” grabbed a lot of media attention for his UFC fight with Khabib Nurmagomedov in 2018. Even though he couldn’t win the bout, he pocketed approximately $50m from the fight.
McGregor also earns handsomely from his endorsement deals. His renewal with Reebok in 2018 ensured an annual revenue of $5m. Between June 2017 to July 2018, McGregor hauled in a staggering $14m.
All these made McGregor the crème de la crème in the list of the richest UFC fighters to date. It also granted him the luxury to go to early retirement.