McGregor, Khabib, Lesnar, GSP, Jones: UFC fighters' career earnings


The UFC has had its fair share of controversies regarding salaries, with many fighters claiming they don’t receive a fair share of the money.

It was widely reported that only 16% of the company’s revenue for the year 2019 went to the men who stepped into the cage, risking their lives for our entertainment.

In that same year, UFC president Dana White was believed to have reached an estimated $500 million net worth.

But which fighters have come out on top when it comes to their UFC earnings?

These are the 20 biggest earners in the UFC based on their careers so far (excluding additional bonuses and sponsorship money) as per The Sports Daily.

It is also worth noting, Athletic commissions didn’t start releasing fighter purse info until 2004, so the info below only reflects money earned from UFC 46 and onward. 

The earnings per fight have been rounded up or down to the nearest thousand.



Just scraping his way into the top 20 is the man who shocked the world when he beat Conor McGregor after replacing opponent Rafael Dos Anjos at UFC 196 Nate Diaz. Diaz has reportedly earned a total of $4,912,000 over the 34 fights he has managed in the UFC, averaging just over $144,000 per fight. However, it is believed a large chunk of those earnings came from his two fights against McGregor so, in reality, it’s likely that his earnings per fight excluding those two bouts would be much less.

In 19th is Dustin Poirier with total earnings of $5,046,700. Poirier also happens to have fought the exact same amount of bouts as Nate Diaz, so unexpectedly his earnings per fight are very similar, coming in at roughly $148,000.

Also landing in the $5-6 million bracket is Brock Lesnar (18th), Frankie Edgar (17th), Mauricio Rua (16th), Vitor Belfort (15th) and Jose Aldo (14th). Jose Aldo sits at 14th on the list with total earnings of $5,596,000, but with a total of 37 fights under his belt, his earnings per fight only work out to around $3,000 more than Dustin Poirier, despite sitting five places above him.


In the final three spots before we enter the top 10 are Stipe Miocic (13th), Daniel Cormier (12th) and Mark Hunt (11th). Miocic has the least amount of fights completed between the three at 24 professional bouts, meaning his per fight earnings average an impressive $252,000. Mark Hunt has managed the most fights of the three at 28, averaging $225,000.

As we enter the top 10, only Donald Cerrone (10th) and Andrei Arlovski (9th) still sit below $7 million. Cerrone has taken home a total of $6,816,200 whilst Arlovski has just pipped him at $6,840,000. However, both fighters have amassed an incredible 52 fights each, meaning their earnings per fight both average just $131,000, well below some of the fighters lower than them in the list.

In the $7-8 million bracket, there are some impressive names: Jon Jones (8th), Georges St-Pierre (7th), Junior Dos Santos (6th) and finally Michael Bisping (5th) slotting above the rest in fifth place. Jones has the least amount of fights under his belt, managing a total of 27, this puts his average amount per fight at roughly $260,000. At the opposite end of this bracket, Michael Bisping has 39 professional bouts, averaging a much lower $182,000.


The last two fighters to have earned under $10 million are Anderson Silva and Alistair Overeem, sitting in the fourth and third spots respectively. Anderson Silva has racked up an incredible 45 career fights, meaning he averages around $194,000 per fight. However, even more incredibly, Alistair Overeem has fought an astounding 66 professional bouts. Whilst this makes for an impressive career, it means that he has only averaged approximately $150,000 per fight.

Now onto the final two, and it should come as no surprise to hear that those fighters are Khabib Nurmagomedov and Conor McGregor. Arguably the two biggest names in UFC history in terms of the number of eyes the pair have brought to the sport, these two are way above the rest of the pack when it comes to earnings.

Khabib has earned himself nearly $5 million more than the man only one space below him on the list with a total of $14,770,200. Khabib has fought a total of 29 professional fights, putting his earnings per fight at an incredible $509,000.

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Where was Conor McGregor born?

Conor McGregor, however, has smashed even Khabib out of the park with total career earnings of $25,302,000. When you consider that only one other fighter on the entire list has earned over $10 million in their career, it’s almost unbelievable that the Irishman has racked up over $25 million.

With 28 professional fights achieved so far, McGregor has averaged an astonishing $904,000 per fight. Those figures aren’t too shabby for a company that supposedly under-pays its competitors.

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