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Dana White: From 2006-2011 over 40 UFC fighters have become millionaires

Perception is most often reality for the majority of people and right now the perception for many is that professional boxers make a lot more money than pro mixed martial arts fighters in the UFC. Following UFC 138 on Saturday, UFC President Dana White was once again asked about this subject and if the UFC ever planned on paying their fighters “boxing money”.

White explained how not every boxer is making big money like Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao. He also said that from 2006-2011, in just five short years, the UFC has produced over 40 millionaires and over 20 multi-millionaires. For the mathematically challenged, that means the UFC has been producing, on average over eight millionaires per year for the last five years.

That is impressive in and of itself, but even more impressive when considering the UFC did not even start becoming profitable until 2006. According to White, for the first five years, starting in 2001, the Fertitta brothers went $50 million dollars in the hole trying to build the UFC brand, and during that time not one fighter or Zuffa employee ever got paid late or had their check bounce.

Thoughts for discussion:

So anyone want to try and name 40 UFC fighters that have become millionaires in the last five years? How about 20 multi-millionaires?

  1. Anderson Silva
  2. Georges St-Pierre
  3. Brock Lesnar
  4. Cain Velasquez
  5. Matt Hughes
  6. Chuck Liddell
  • http://twitter.com/J0hnth3Gr3at John Miller

    Randy Couture
    Tito Ortiz
    Jon Jones
    BJ Penn
    Lyoto Machida
    Forrest Griffin
    Matt Hughes

    They’re the only ones I can think of really.

  • http://twitter.com/KelvinHunt Kelvin Hunt

    Rampage Jackson
    Brandon Vera(Vera was getting paid very well at one point)
    Urijah Faber has probably gotten paid way more than reported
    Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira
    Frank Mir
    Dan Henderson
    Jon Fitch
    Thiago Alves
    Kenny Florian
    Junior dos Santos

    Just think of the guys that have been in the UFC for 4-5 years…Leben, Koscheck, Sanchez, Lytle….all of them probably have made over a million…

  • Asdfsd

    If the fighter already had $999,999 before coming to the UFC, the UFC can technically say they made that fighter a millionaire by giving him a single dollar.

  • Brncoboostr

    I would add Guida maybe Lytle and Griffin to that list.

  • http://www.facebook.com/fightnewsunlimited Rich Bergeron

    Yeah, but how many of those fighters became millionaires based only on their base pay from the UFC? Even if you total what they made before taxes, the bulk of the millionaires were most likely put over the top by sponsorship checks and endorsement deals.

  • http://twitter.com/KelvinHunt Kelvin Hunt

    Well..we can’t really go by ‘base pay’…I’m sure they are counting fight of the night bonuses, KO of the night bonuses, locker room bonuses, etc…I’m not including this in my calculations…but fighting in the UFC probably got them more money from sponsors, etc.

  • Anonymous

    Cain is a Millionaire?

  • http://www.promma.info PRO MMA

    Cain may not be, those are just guesses.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ricky-Ross/100000399581762 Ricky Ross

    Kelvin is right…look at Leben for example, he has fought 19 times in the UFC, even if he only made $50K per fight AVERAGE for all those fights, he would be at $950K right now. Then, you throw in all his bonuses and sponsorships, Leben has probably made $2 million + in the UFC.

    Same with Diego Sanchez, he has 16 fights – and with his title shot PPV money against Penn, surely that puts him over the $2 million mark + in the UFC.

    Koscheck has 19 fights in the UFC as well, with his PPV money title fight against GSP, combined with his pay + bonuses, he is surely over the $2 million mark as well.

    Lytle has has 21 fights in the UFC and WEC combined…same thing with him…especially since he has something like 7 or 8 FTN/KO/SOTN bonuses at $75K (give or take)…just in those bonuses alone he has made approximately $550K, or so. Now add in his locker room bonuses and regular fight pay and he is definately over the $1 million mark.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ricky-Ross/100000399581762 Ricky Ross

    By the way, I know Leben has made more than $50K per fight average…I was just using that number as an example…

  • http://twitter.com/KelvinHunt Kelvin Hunt

    He has to be…just off of his fight with Lesnar alone…that jawn did over a million buys..if he only got $1 per buy…boom…

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