Conor McGregor tops all-time UFC highest paid fighter list with £7.35m ahead of Bisping and Lesnar as top 20 revealed – The Sun
23rd January 2021

CONOR McGREGOR tops the list of all-time highest-paid UFC fighters.

The Notorious has become the sport’s biggest star since he burst onto the US scene in 2013 – and quickly took over as a world champion superstar.

The Irishman leads the way as the UFC’s highest paid athlete through fight night purses – according to TheStreet.

The American publication listed the top 20 highest-paid fighters in the promotion’s history, based on earnings on their bouts alone from 2004 until late 2019 – not including bonuses and sponsorships.

Not surprisingly McGregor has been paid the most by UFC boss Dana White, earning £7.35million in pay cheques at that stage.

The Notorious made his PPV debut in July 2015 winning the UFC interim featherweight title against Chad Mendes – and has fought on box office ever since.

From there he scored the quickest win the promotion’s title fight history after a left hand ended Jose Aldo’s 10-year unbeaten run in 13 seconds at UFC 194 in December 2015.

McGregor went on to headline PPV’s against Nate Diaz, twice, and Eddie Alvarez, where he became the first UFC champion to hold two belts at the same time.

But in his next MMA bout, against bitter rival Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 229, the lightweight title fight sold 2.4m PPV’s – a box office record for the company.

Despite featuring in four of the five best selling events in the promotion’s history, McGregor made his greatest fortune boxing ring legend Floyd Mayweather in a 2017 crossover bout.

The Irishman is said to have earned £40m – thought to have been divided between his UFC bosses – in the fight that sold 4.4m PPV’s.

His boxing cameo, sponsorships, UFC purses and new Proper 12 whiskey has seen the 32-year-old take home £36.2m in earnings – Forbes estimates.

However, his lucrative boxing debut does not affect his place on this exclusively UFC earning list.

McGregor has been out of action since his incredible win over Donald Cerrone on January 18 in which he pocketed another few million.

Surprisingly, British MMA legend Michael Bisping was behind McGregor in second as of September 2019, receiving £5.48m in his 39-fight career.

The former UFC middleweight champion headlined four PPV’s for the company.

Bisping’s last box office opponent, Georges St-Pierre, is just behind the Brit on £5.4m.

The welterweight legend, who won the middleweight belt in his final fight, made 14 PPV appearances headlining all but one.

His sponsorships out the cage, and movie roles, make him the third richest MMA fighter in history, with a net worth of £23m – behind only McGregor and Rorian Gracie.

WWE star Brock Lesnar is deep down the list, coming in at 10 – but what seems a shock at first, makes sense considering the heavyweight had just eight UFC fights.

He headlined every event he fought in, winning the heavyweight title at UFC 100 beating rival Frank Mir in a rematch.

Lesnar’s work out the cage as well as his wrestling career has seen his net worth grow to £21.6m – making him MMA's fourth richest star.

Pound-for-pound greats Anderson Silva and Jon Jones also make the list.

Silva comes in at fourth, making the same amount as GSP on £5.4m, having headlined 19 box office cards – with 9.6m PPV’s sold all together.

Current P4P king Jones is 11th, with 13 PPV main-events, including two blockbuster fights with arch nemesis Daniel Cormier.

Becoming the UFC’s youngest champion at age 23 beating Mauricio Rua in 2011, Jones has many years left in the sport but still has a £7.7m net worth.

His storied past, including arrests, UFC suspensions and inactivity saw the former light-heavyweight ruler lose sponsors.

But with Silva, St-Pierre, and Ronda Rousey all out of the picture, and McGregor on the sidelines, Jones is the company’s most active star of late.

MMA cult hero Nate Diaz – who broke away from the niche market in 2016 after beating McGregor – makes the list at 19.

But despite only headlining two PPV’s, both against The Notorious, the Stockton brawler has made £3.37m in the cage.

A journeyed career has seen him fight 31 times, but his rise in popularity and sponsors as well as the record amount of UFC Fight Night bonuses has seen him gain a reported £6.1m net worth.

Meanwhile, the newly retired Khabib Nurmagomedov is understood to have pocketed £4.6m from his final fight against Justin Gaethje, which would put him among the all-time top earners in a newly updated list.

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