MMA is now the fastest-growing sport in the world and the popularity of the UFC and its fighters has skyrocketed over the years. As such, there are many questions about how and how much UFC fighters are paid.
Low-level MMA fighters can earn around $300 performing in a fight and another $300 winning the fight. Earnings per fight can be increased by attending more fights, making a name for yourself, and contributing a portion of the earnings to ticket sales.
Even if you’re not a huge sports fan, there’s something very entertaining about watching a UFC fight. However, what is even more intriguing than fighters’ ability to withstand multiple punches and punches, in general, is how much they are paid per fight.
One fighter, Francis Ngannou, complaining about unfair pay makes one wonder how much lesser-known fighters, like those who fight on UFC undercards, get paid.
The breakdown of the total amount a UFC fighter earns per fight shows that it is made up of:
- Base salary
- Performance bonus
- victory bonus
- Pay per view
Only some of the most famous fighters in the middle and high pay brackets are eligible to receive PayPerView payments and sponsorship payments from UFC brand partners.
Typically, a provisional UFC fighter’s total compensation consists of just a base salary plus a win bonus.
Occasionally, however, fighters can earn bonuses for “Fight of the Night” and “Performance of the Night” worth $50,000 each.
Therefore, a provisional UFC fighter’s total earnings can go from a base salary of about $10,000 to about $110,000. Although that doesn’t happen too often.
How much do low-level MMA fighters earn per fight?
A low-level professional MMA fighter can expect to make anywhere from $300 to $500 per fight in their first few fights. They can also make extra money selling tickets to the event, which can vary wildly depending on how many tickets they can sell in person to increase their attendance.
Most MMA fighters making their pro debut can expect around $300 to appear and another $300 to win the fight.
After a few fights, a low-level MMA fighter can expect to earn an additional $100 per fight on top of their appearance and winnings, resulting in them potentially earning $400-500 for appearances and another $400-500 -$ earned for the win, which is potentially equal to $800-$1000.
If the wrestler can bring a larger audience to the event, they can make a lot more money.
How much do MMA beginners earn?
Budding MMA fighters make anywhere from $100 to $300 for their first professional debut. After a few fights, they can quickly win $300-500 or more. His fight will likely take place with one of MMA’s smaller promotions, some of which don’t even appear on TV.
MMA isn’t just a sport about who wins, it’s about who can do it with the most spectacle and draw the most attention.
Average salaries of UFC fighters
Now let’s try to figure out how much UFC fighters make on average. The average UFC fighter earned $147,965 in 2020, up from $146,673 in 2019. Consider some fun facts to help you understand what UFC fighter salaries are. Basically, the fighters in the UFC make money on the flat rate they get from the UFC for the fights.
Payouts per fight range from an initial $10,000 to $3,000,000. In general, you can divide pay per fight into three categories based on the contracts the fighters received from the UFC.
Low: $10,000 to $30,000 :
This is the type of contract made available to new wrestlers who have signed a contract with the organization. The salary of UFC fighters in this case depends on the fighter’s history and potential.
Intermediate: $30,000 to $80,000:
If new fighters win in the octagon, have winning streaks, or have spectacular fights, they will get a better contract when their original contract expires.Under these conditions, payouts for each fight range from tens of thousands of dollars to hundreds of thousands of dollars. The salary of UFC fighters when signing a new contract depends on the quality of services, the number of new subscribers on various social networks, and the ability to create their own fight to promote.
High level: $500,000 to $5,000,000:
The UFC champions and fighters with the largest fan bases get the best kind of contract. Based on their popularity with fans and the number of viewers they bring to the UFC, they can make anywhere from half a million dollars to five million dollars per fight. The salaries of the UFC fighters who have reached the top level largely depend on the number of paid shows.
How much do amateur MMA fighters earn?
An amateur MMA fighter will often fight for free just to gain experience and test their skills, or for a charity. But low-level amateur wrestlers often only earn an entry fee of between $100 and $200.
Usually, only with a professional promotion can they earn more than that. The better they fight, the more opportunities open up to them.
Before a fighter reaches the heights of the UFC, considered the largest mixed martial arts tournament in the world, he must start in amateur fights. Amateur MMA competitions are generally governed by the IMMAF.
In an amateur MMA fight or even boxing, the fighters often start out without any income whatsoever. They are passionate about the sport and enter charity competitions or ‘show’ style fights to test their skills and make their mark.
How do amateur MMA fighters make money?
Amateur MMA fighters can make extra money by designing their own t-shirts and selling them along with tickets to their events. You can also partner with local brands to sponsor them and add their logo to their merchandise to increase their earning potential.
Even the highest-level fighters can sustain injuries that destroy their earning potential. If they can’t fight, they can’t win as much. The same is true across the network as this is a spectator sport where competitors compete and fans have to pay and watch.
What are the UFC bonuses?
Battle Victory Bonus
The guaranteed fight payouts, if a fighter wins a fight, they receive a victory bonus equal to the guaranteed amount they have earned double the amount of money they receive.
When a fighter gets paid $90,000 for a fight; if they win, they’ll get an additional $90,000 (for a total payout of $180,000). It’s worth noting that the win bonus only applies to mid-tier and low-tier contracts, meaning UFC champions generally don’t get double the cash if they win.
Fight of the night and performance of the night
The UFC also ensures that two fighters who compete in the best and most interesting fight of the night receive a $50,000 bonus. Two top-performing boxers in the event will also receive a $50,000 bonus.
PPV (pay-per-view) events are the largest event type in the UFC. Viewers wishing to watch PPV events will have to pay an additional amount of money ($65 at the time of writing). These events feature fights between the UFC’s biggest stars and championship fights.
Because PPV events offer the best fights the UFC has to offer, these types of events get the most views; Therefore, they generate by far the most money.
Being a UFC champion or a UFC PPV main eventer means that a fighter may have a special item in their contract where they receive a percentage of all PPVs sold.
Local MMA promotion that sells tickets for $30 each and how two fighters’ earnings can change:
|Fighter A||Fighter B|
|Base Pay (App./Win)||$300/300||$300/300|
|Tickets Sales||Zero||$600 (20 Tickets)|
|Revenue Share %||Zero||20%|
|Base Pay (App./Win)||$300/300||$300/300|
|Tickets Sales||$1,500 (50 Tickets)||$3,000 (100 Tickets)|
|Revenue Share %||30%||40%|
UFC Top Ten Fighters Earners
|1||Conor McGregor||$ 10,022,000||$8,500,000||$18,522,000|
|2||Dustin Poirier||$ 2,473,000||$8,500,000||$10,973,000|
|3||Israel Adesanya||$ 2,024,000||$3,200,000||$ 5,224,000|
|4||Kamaru Usman||$ 1,082,000||$3,700,000||$ 4,782,000|
|5||Jan Blachowicz||$ 1,182,000||$2,800,000||$ 3,982,000|
|6||Amanda Nunes||$ 932,000||$3,000,000||$ 3,932,000|
|7||Petr Yan||$ 784,000||$2,000,000||$ 2,784,000|
|8||Valentina Shevchenko||$ 284,000||$2,150,000||$ 2,434,000|
|9||Rose Namajunas||$ 444,000||$1,750,000||$ 2,194,000|
|10||Zhang Weili||$ 430,000||$1,750,000||$ 2,180,000|
UFC fighters receive a healthy paycheck for their time and dedication. They often make more than athletes from other professional sports leagues, making the UFC one of the most lucrative professional fighting organizations in the world.