20 Highest Paid UFC Fighters

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Conor McGregor motions to the crowd during a news conference for a UFC 264 mixed martial arts bout Thursday, July 8, 2021, in Las Vegas.
(AP Photo/John Locher)
Anatoly Pimentel @AnatolyPimentel Sep 07, 2022, 11:43 PM
  • Conor McGregor is the highest-paid UFC fighter.
  • They pocketed at least $5 million.

Mixed martial arts is undoubtedly the fastest-growing sport by consistently expanding its fanbase worldwide. This growth also gave the fans a chance to bet on their favorite fighters through the MMA odds. Headlining this rapid ascent is the UFC, which is the biggest MMA sport in the world right now. Parallel to its rise is the organization’s earnings and, in turn, used to pay the high-level athletes competing under the banner.

The question now is, who is the highest-paid UFC fighter of all time? We have a list of the top five UFC fighters, who are also perennial names in the UFC fight odds, with their estimated career earnings in total (not including the Pay-Per-View earnings and other endorsements).

Conor McGregor – $20,102,000 

Surprise, surprise? The former two-division Cage Warriors and UFC champion is the superior MMA athlete in the world in terms of fight earnings. Besides becoming a title-holder, a few fighter’s dream is to get a match with McGregor to receive their biggest career pay. 

This is not a surprise as we all know that Conor McGregor is the most famous name in the MMA scene, thanks to his colorful personality, making him the most sought-after athlete to watch. His pay for every fight he takes part in literally increases.

Following his Featherweight championship triumph over Jose Aldo in December 2015, the Irishman has received a hefty 7-figure of reward since squaring off with Nate Diaz. Although he suffered back-to-back losses to Dustin Poirier, the ‘’Notorious’’ bagged $10,022,000 in total, $5,011,000 each.

Khabib Nurmagomedov – $14,770,000

Unlike Conor’s meteoric rise in terms of earnings, his rival Khabib Nurmagomedov needed eight fights in the UFC before he had a taste of a six-figure pay. The ‘’Eagle’’ collected $215,000 when he dominated Edson Barboza at UFC 219, followed by a half a million cheque from his Lightweight title win against Al Iaquinta in April 2018.

His first million-dollar fight ($2,040,000) came when he faced McGregor at UFC 229, submitting him in the fourth round. He then wrapped up his professional career with wins over Dustin Poirier and Justin Gaethje and pocketed a whopping $12,180,000 in total for those fights.

Alistair Overeem – $10,204,500

Thanks to an impressive UFC debut win against Brock Lesnar in 2011, Alistair Overeem has set the tone for his fighter pay as he never received a cheque under the six-figure mark throughout his tenure in the UFC.

His three biggest pay were when he fought Francis Ngannou (December 2017), Curtis Blaydes (June 2018), and Sergei Pavlovich (November 2018), receiving $860,000 for those three bouts. On average, he made $495,724.9 from the UFC. 

Andrei Arlovski – $9,844,000

Despite not earning all his career income under the UFC, veteran fighter Andrei Arlovski still managed to gain most of his fortune under the Las Vegas-based promotion, with an average of $232,580.6. The biggest pay that the 42-year-old Belarusian obtained from the UFC was his recent win over Carlos Felipe last month for UFC Fight Night: Ladd versus Dumont.

His infamous loss to Fedor Emelianenko in 2009 is Andrei’s biggest single fight pay as he collected $1,500,000 in that match under Affliction.

Anderson Silva – $8,732,000

Although Anderson Silva didn’t secure a single 7-figure pay from a fight under the UFC, he only needed three matches in the promotion to hit the six-figure mark and since then never got paid under the $200,000 price tag for his every appearance inside the Octagon.

The ‘’Spider’’ looted his largest fight pay when he fought Derek Brunson in February 2017 for UFC 208, mainly thanks to his win bonus of $200,000. Silva accumulated an average of $620,025 in 25 bouts.

Here’s a table of the top 20 paid UFC fighters and their total career earnings:

Fighter NameCareer Earnings
Conor McGregor$20,102,000
Khabib Nurmagomedov$14,770,000
Alistair Overeem$10,204,500
Andrei Arlovski$9,844,000
Anderson Silva$8,732,000
Jon Jones$7,230,000
Michael Bisping$7,135,000
Junior Dos Santos$7,110,000
Georges St-Pierre$7,037,000
Donald Cerrone$7,025,800
Daniel Cormier$6,586,500
Mark Hunt$6,304,000
Stipe Miocic$6,068,000
Vitor Belfort$5,795,200
Dan Henderson$5,480,000
Brock Lesnar$5,295,000
Jose Aldo$5,270,500
Mauricio Rua$5,270,000
Frankie Edgar$5,158,000
Lyoto Machida$5,035,000

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About the Author

Anatoly Pimentel

Read More @AnatolyPimentel

Anatoly Pimentel is an NBA and MMA writer previously featured in ASEAN Sports, Asian Persuasion MMA, and Overtime Heroics MMA. He graduated from Adamson University with B.A in Communication and is currently a Web Content Writer for BetMGM.

Anatoly Pimentel is an NBA and MMA writer previously featured in ASEAN Sports, Asian Persuasion MMA, and Overtime Heroics MMA. He graduated from Adamson University with B.A in Communication and is currently a Web Content Writer for BetMGM.