MMA fighters make a lot more money than they did when the sport started. $500 to main event a card was a rare find back in the fledgling days.
I remember attending my first, and possibly the very first licensed MMA event in Kentucky. It was mostly amateurs but at the time the promoters didn’t publicly make the distinction so we all thought they were the elite of the elite – even though some of them fought in basketball shorts – and were very out of shape. It was a fruit stand freak show.
Now, the truly elite fighters rake in some serious cash but aren’t as rich as they probably should be. For gun, today we are taking a look at the net worth of the current UFC champions to see just how much of a difference there is between them.
Keep in mind that some of their money comes from sponsorships, businesses, TV appearances, and other sources. It all factors in and gives a better idea of what being the champ of their division can do for you. That being said let’s get started.
Women’s strawweight champ Rose Namajunas
Rose sits at $500K for her short 11 fight career. She has only defended her title once so she’s still finding her groove. Maybe over time it will go up, maybe not. This sport is crazy.
Women’s flyweight champ Valentina Shevchenko
Valentina hasn’t had a chance to defend her belt but prior to winning it she was considered one of the best female fighters in the world. Right now she is estimated to be worth at least six figures with a disclosed earnings total of around $580K. No exact figure has been determined – at least a reliable one.
Women’s bantamweight and featherweight champ Amanda Nunes
The Lioness as she is known is worth around or above $1M. Not bad for a woman who just recently exploded in to the spotlight.
Men’s flyweight champion Henry Cejudo
Cejudo’s name just recently became known to more than hardcore fans. Right now he sits at $217K. Maybe that will change if he beats TJ Dillashaw. Speaking of TJ…
Men’s bantamweight champ TJ Dillashaw
TJ is just above Amanda Nunes on the list with $1.3M and that’s impressive for a lighter weight class champion. He can eat all of the “pasghetti” he wants. Thanks for that joke Tommy Toe Hold.
Men’s featherweight champion Max Holloway
The Hawaiian is above Dillashaw at $1.5M and this may be a trend as we head up the weight class ladder.
Men’s lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov
Russian phenom Khabib Nurmagomedov is up around $2M which is impressive given his cool demeanor and lack of trash talk. His opponents usually sell the fight and he finishes them.
Men’s welterweight champ Tyron Woodley
Woodley may not be the most exciting fighter but TMZ cameras love him. We keep moving up here in terms of value as he sits at $4M. Pretty impressive Tyron even if Dana wants you to go away at times.
Men’s middleweight champ Robert Whittaker
This time we go back down but it’s understandable. Whittaker’s name doesn’t appear in many headlines and if you can remember something memorable he said on the mic let us know. He is an amazing and talented fighter who quietly sits at $2-3M. Well done.
Men’s light heavyweight champ Jon Jones
This one surprised me because Jon always seemed to be filthy stinking rich in my head. He is well off don’t get me wrong with a net worth of a whopping $10M. If he keeps winning and stays out of trouble he could start making McGregor money. No more ‘atypical’ drug tests please JJ.
Men’s heavyweight champ Daniel Cormier
Dang, DC. Jones beats you outside the cage, too. Cormier sits up around $4M which is around six million less than his nemesis.
There you have it folks. We’ll do a former champs list soon.