How Much Do UFC Fighters Get Paid? Revealing The Eye-Watering Earnings In MMA

Fight for your funds.

How Much Do UFC Fighters Get Paid? Revealing The Eye-Watering Earnings In MMA

Image: Getty

UFC fighters are not salaried employees. They are treated like contractors who have fight contracts and are paid on a per-fight basis… and some of the money coming out of the promotion these days is staggering.

Fighter pay is one of the more controversial topics in the UFC and according to a standard UFC contract, fighters aren’t allowed to divulge their pay to third parties other than their agents or advisors.

Secondly, among the UFC’s favourite states to visit every year, only California requires the disclosure of fighter pay. Most of the UFC’s events are held in Las Vegas whose commission doesn’t require the UFC to state how much fighters make during events.

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Image: Getty

Having said this, it’s really hard to determine how much exactly UFC fighters make. So whatever we write here and whatever you read elsewhere is just an estimate.

An article from BetMGM wrote that UFC fighter pay ranges from $10,000 to $3 million USD (~$15,102 AUD to $4.53 million AUD) depending on the fighter. Each UFC fighter has his own contract where his per-fight salary is expressly stated. The amount depends on the tier of the fighters. 

Most MMA websites estimate that fighters under the lower pay grade make a mere $10,000 USD to $30,000 USD (~ $15,102 AUD to $45,307 AUD) per fight. Mid-pay grade fighters meanwhile reportedly earn around $80,000 USD to $250,000 USD per bout (~$120,819 AUD to $377,560 AUD). On the other hand, UFC superstars make a handsome pay between $500,000 USD to $3 million USD (~$755,120 AUD to $4.53 million AUD).

Now these amounts are called the fighters’ base pay or the amount they earn if they show up to the fight. If the fighter wins, he or she will receive the equivalent of his/her show money, thus doubling the earrings.

Image: Getty

Aside from the fighter pay, UFC combatants who are in the upper echelon also earn a share of the pay-per-view revenue. Again, like fighter pay, this amount isn’t required to be divulged but is usually computed on how many PPV buys an event makes.

UFC Fighters can also earn one of the four performance bonuses given during every event – Fight of the Night, Performance of the Night, Knockout of the Night, and Submission of the Night. The Fight of the Night bonus is given to both the winning and losing fighters. All four bonuses are worth $50,000 (~$75,528 AUD).

UFC fighters also earn additional income from the UFC’s fight kit sponsor. Champions get $42,000 USD (~$63,434 AUD) as fight week incentive pay while challengers make $32,000 USD (~$ 48,331 AUD) under the same policy.

Meanwhile, UFC fighters with 21 or more UFC bouts under their belt will get $21,000 USD ($31,717 AUD) while those who have 16-20 fights will make $16,000 (~AUD 24,165). The rest of the roster gets between $4,000 USD (~$6,041 AUD) and $11,000 USD(~$16,613 AUD) depending on the number of fights under the promotion.

According to a report from Forbes, Conor McGregor made an estimated $33 million USD (~$49.8 million AUD) during his last bout against Dustin Poirier in July 2021. His previous fight against The Diamond, six months earlier, saw him earn $22 million USD (~$33.2 million AUD). Website says The Notorious has made $108.7 million USD (~$164.1 million AUD) during his UFC tenure.