Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Determining just how much money a combat athlete has earned in their career is tough to figure out precisely. However, it is exactly what the team at Celebrity Net Worth does every day. The site states their figures ‘were acquired from all publicly available information including per fight salaries, real estate holdings, divorces, merchandise, royalties and endorsements. The final net worths come from a formula that takes out taxes, manager’s fees, agents’ fees, and lifestyle.’

In the UFC, athletes are paid a base salary to fight, and another sum to win. Athletes also receive money from sponsors, however currently that is only from Reebok. Lastly, athletes we have gained notoriety can negotiate to take a royalty on PPV sales on events they fight in. The PPV sales numbers are never released publicly, however industry experts like Dave Meltzer have been fairly accurate in their estimations according to UFC President Dana White.

The only contract that has ever been made public containing the structure of a PPV deal was that of Randy Couture’s that was released as part of a lawsuit:

Number of buys: Bonus

Fewer than 100,000: No bonus
100,000 – 175,000: $1 per buy
175,000 – 300,000: $1.5 per buy
300,000 – 330,000: $2 per buy
Over 330,000: $3 per buy

Using all the information available to them, Celebrity Net Worth has determined its list of the highest earning fighters in UFC history.


6) Brock Lesnar: $16 million

Brock Lesnar was perhaps one of the most high profile athletes to ever compete in the UFC Octagon. Lesnar was a former WWE champion who transitioned to mixed martial arts in 2007. After won professional fight, he signed with the UFC and although he lost his UFC debut, would win his next four and win the UFC heavyweight title from Randy Couture in 2008.

Although PPV numbers are kept private, estimations are somewhat accurate and Brock Lesnar is responsible for the top selling event of all-time for the promotion, UFC 100. He is also responsible for the second highest PPV sales event ever, UFC 116, a title defense against Shane Carwin and tied for fourth for UFC 121.

Next: Wanderlei Silva