It probably doesn’t come as a surprise to hear that MMA stars earn an impressive salary. Professional athletes are some of the world’s wealthiest people, and the top MMA fighters can earn thousands of dollars per minute in the octagon. Here is everything you need to know about the highest-paid MMA fighters and how they have become so successful.
Who are the top earners in MMA?
The top MMA fighters have an impressive net worth. According to the Richest Sports League table, Conor McGregor is the highest-paid professional athlete in the world. He has earned a colossal $110,000,000 during his eight-year fighting career and earns over $420,000 for every professional minute. Brock Lesnar is the second-highest-paid MMA fighter and makes roughly $350,000 for every minute that he fights. Lesnar has an estimated net worth of $28,000,000. Another big earner in MMA is Chuck Liddle, who earns over £180,000 per minute. He is thought to have built a net worth of $50,000,000 during his 10-year fighting career.
Where do their earnings come from?
Typically, MMA professionals earn a base salary for training and fighting. The amount received depends on various factors, including the level of experience and popularity of the fight. For instance, Conor McGregory earned a base salary of $3,000,000 for his UFC fight against Khabib Nurmagomedov in 2018, according to talkSport. However, other MMA fighters earn significantly less per fight. MMA fighters are considered independent contractors, so they can negotiate their base pay directly with the UFC.
MMA professionals also have the opportunity to boost their salary through win and performance bonuses. On top of their base salary and bonuses, many MMA fighters earn a significant amount of money through paid sponsorships and endorsements. For example, the UFC signed a sponsorship deal with Reebok back in 2015. The UFC pays each fighter a percentage of the sponsorship money, depending on their number of fights.
How did they become so successful?
Becoming a professional MMA athlete is not easy, and fighters have to dedicate many years to their training to achieve their career goals. Even with years of training, only a small percentage of MMA athletes have the opportunity to fight at the professional level. Reports state that Connor McGregor attended daily training sessions in the gym while working 12-hour shifts before he made his big break into the UFC in 2017.
When MMA fighters are signed by the UFC, they have to continue intensive training, especially before fights. In general, professional MMA fighters are expected to train five or six days a week, for roughly 20-25 hours in total.
Maintaining the fitness levels needed to compete in professional MMA is extremely demanding, and athletes must be fully dedicated to their careers.
MMA professionals earn an impressive salary, and the top stars make hundred of thousands of dollars per minute in the octagon. MMA can offer a highly-paid and rewarding career. That said, becoming an MMA professional is hard work and requires years of intensive training and commitment.