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How Much Do UFC Fighters Get Paid?

It’s quite understandable that UFC is a cruel sport, and because of the high threat of being injured, the fighters should earn enough.

Taking into account the peculiarities of UFC, it’s really interesting
how much do UFC fighters get paid. UFC is a popular sport throughout the world, where many people have their favorite fighters. So, let’s clarify what their earnings are per fight and annually.

The question of earning money is of great interest to those who want to become professional MMA fighters.

UFC Fighters Pay Scale

Before answering the question how much do UFC fighters get paid per fight, it’s necessary to understand that each fighter earns differently. As in any kind of sport, UFC has professionals and amateurs, but here they are known as low-tier fighters and high-tier fighters. This ranking is the primary factor that determines the salary of each athlete. Fighters are divided based on their performance in their weight class and their general experience in UFC. High-tier fighters are more skilled as compared to low-tier ones who are mainly amateurs and demonstrated lower performance in recent fights. 

Low Tier Fighters

Considering that the average salary for UFC fighters is around $53,000-$60,000 per fight, the low-tier fighters earn about $10,000-$30,000 per fight. As a rule, a fighter signs a contract for several fights. On average, there are three fights per year. Low-tier fighters are usually new ones who sign a contract with UFC. They may expect to raise their income after several wins. It’s necessary to understand that when a fighter loses, they earn in any case. But the amount is lower. For the lost fight, they may earn $10,000, while the winner gets $20,000, for example. 

High Tier fighters

This category includes the answer when we think about how much do top UFC fighters get paid. On average, the high-tier fighters earn between half a million and three million dollars per fight. This list includes the UFC champions and those fighters who have a significant fan base. It’s easier for them to find promoters and sign huge contracts. Here, also both of the fighters receive their fees based on the results of the event. In 2021, Conor McGregor was the highest-tier fighter. Then, in two fights, he earned 52 million dollars even when in one of the fights, he lost. The athletes that follow McGregor include Khabib Nurmagomedov, Alistair Overeem, Anderson Silva, Michael Bisping, and others. 

Top 10 Highest-Paid UFC Fighters

The most exciting numbers are provided when someone asks how much do UFC fighters get paid a year. The sums are calculated here in millions of dollars because these fights gather the whole halls, and they receive a million views online. The list of top fighters and their annual salaries represented below is formed in accordance with the data gathered in April 2022. So, the top richest UFC fighters are the following:

Name of a Fighter Earnings (in million U.S. dollars)
Conor McGregor 25.3
Khabib Nurmagomedov 14.77
Alistair Overeem 9.91
Anderson Silva 8.73
Andrei Arlovski 7.2
Michael Bisping 7.14
Junior Dos Santos 7.11
Georges St-Pierre 7.04
Jon Jones 7.03
Donald Cerrone 6.82

Who is the top 3 richest UFC Fighters?

When we know how much do top UFC fighters get paid, we may speak about three of the richest fighters for now.

Conor McGregor and his $200 million stats. He is one of the richest athletes not only in UFC but among rich athletes from different kinds of sports. Recently he has received $3 million for just showing up on the stage. 

Khabib Nurmagomedov and his $40 million stats. In his last fight against the no-less strong fighter Dustin Poreira, Khabib earned $6 million. Now, he is not active in UFC, but his character and will to win are well-known to many fans.

George St-Pierre and his $30 million stats. He is not also active, but for his last fight with Michael Bisping, he earned $2.5 million.

UFC Salary Structure: How Are UFC Fighters Getting Paid?

Actually, UFC fighters do not receive a salary; they receive money per fight. They fight on average three-four times per year and receive on average $160-$200 thousand per year. If you are interested in how much do UFC fighters get paid if they lose, the amounts are also great. The payment they receive consists of several parts:

  • The payment which is prescribed in the contract they sign.
  • WIn bonus – is paid when the fighter wins the fight. Sometimes, it’s equal to base pay.
  • UFC bonuses – UFC may pay additionally for the best performance of the night, fight of the night, and fan bonus of the night.
  • Pay-Per-View points – this is one of the largest sources for revenues of UFC, and the part of fighters is also significant.
  • Fight Week Incentive Pay – this is money that fighters earn for wearing brand clothes. 
  • Locked room bonuses – they are given to fighters who did not receive other bonuses to retain their loyalty to UFC.
  • Miscellaneous pay – these are smaller payments for different ads, etc. 

How Much Do UFC Fighters Earn from the Actual Fights?

The pay is not stable and equal for every fighter. For example, how much do UFC fighters get paid for a pay per-view fight? Each fighter should know how to sell their future fight. The more viewers subscribe to the fight, the higher the PPV will be. Conor McGregor was a master at this. Once, they earned 5 million dollars in PPV points. This was much higher than a fee base pay. As a result, he earned more than 8 million dollars that night. Additionally, champion fighters may earn up to $42,000 as fight week incentive pay. In general, the earnings for high-tier fighters is measured in hundreds of thousand and million of dollars. 

Will UFC Fighters Get Paid More In The Future?

How much do average UFC fighters get paid? They earn approximately $50-60 thousand, but there is no limit to the earning of UFC fighters. Each fighter, if they continue to perform, is expected to earn more. It’s because their popularity will grow. In such a way, the fighter moves from the low-tier ranking to the middle and high-tier fighter. The fan base of such fighters increases, and the opportunities for promotion are higher. Thus, from several dozens of thousands, the fighter will be able to earn millions if they continue to win and perform great. 

Sum Up

How much do UFC fighters get paid a fight?

The low-tier fighter may earn from $14,000 per fight. For middle and high-tier fighters, the awards start from $50,000.

Is there a limit for UFC fighters’ earnings?

No, their earning may grow each time, as far as a fighter is interesting for the viewers.

What are the highest earnings among UFC fighters?

Conor McGregor managed to earn $25 million and is not the richest athlete in the world. 

How much do UFC fighters get paid per fight if they lose?

The amount is prescribed in the contract they sign before the event. In any case, the lost fighter gets paid enough but lower than the winner.