Punch! Punch! Jab! The tension in the ring is high and the people watching are screaming as their favorite MMA fighter lands blow against their enemy. Will this match be a tap-out surrender or a knock-out victory? The tough chin fighters keep absorbing punches and the crowd gets wilder with every hit.
Alongside attracting millions of spectators gripping the edge of their seats, MMA matches also pull in millions of dollars in pay-per-view profits and company sponsorships. Much of this money goes to the net worth of the fighters viewers pay to see.
Some of the most popular mixed martial arts fighters get paid a number high enough to knock normal paychecks out of the ring. Here are the top 25 richest MMA fighters in the world.
Table of Contents
- Top 25 Richest MMA Fighters in the World as of 2021
- 25. Dan Henderson – $8 Million
- 24. Anderson Silva – $8 Million
- 23. Rashad Evans – $8.5 Million
- 22. Michael Bisping – $9 Million
- 21. Jose Aldo – $9 Million
- 20. Donald Cerrone -$9 Million
- 19. Yoel Romero -$10 Million
- 18. Junior Dos Santos – $10 Million
- 17. Chael Sonnen -$10 Million
- 16. Bruce Buffer -$10 Million
- 15. Alistair Overeem -$10 Million
- 14. Frank Mir – $11 Million
- 13. Quinton Rampage Jackson – $12 Million
- 12. Ronda Rousey – $13 Million
- 11. Chuck Liddell – $14 Million
- 10. Randy Couture – $17 Million
- 9. Wanderlei Silva – $18 Million
- 8. Fedor Emelianenko – $18 Million
- 7. Tito Ortiz – $20 Million
- 6. BJ Penn – $22 Million
- 5. Brock Lesnar – $28 Million
- 4. Khabib Nurmagomedov – $30 Million
- 3. Georges St. Pierre – $30 Million
- 2. Rorion Gracie – $50 Million
- 1. Conor McGregor – $120 Million
- Top 25 Richest MMA Fighters in the World (Rankings)
- Final Words
Top 25 Richest MMA Fighters in the World as of 2021
25. Dan Henderson – $8 Million
With his net worth at $8 million, Dan Henderson is a retired American MMA fighter. He was born in California and competed in the 1992 and 1996 summer Olympics for Greco-Roman wrestling. Henderson has 16 knockouts under his belt and a total of 32 wins out of almost 50 matches.
He retired in 2016 after losing a match to our number 22 on the list: Michael Bisping. Now 50 years old, Henderson is happily married with two children and currently coaching mixed martial arts.
24. Anderson Silva – $8 Million
Anderson Silva is an MMA fighter from Brazil who first learned forms of martial arts from practicing with neighborhood children. With his stage name “The Spider”, he is known for his quick ability to dodge and strike his opponents like a spider.
Worth $8 million, Silva is most famous for holding the UFC Middleweight title the longest as well as being one of the best strikers. He is married with five children and is good friends with fellow MMA fighter BJ Penn, our #6 on this list.
23. Rashad Evans – $8.5 Million
Rashad Evans, net worth at $8.5 million dollars, is an American MMA fighter and wrestler. Evans was born in New York and currently trains in New Mexico. He holds multiple black belts in multiple fighting styles, one in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and one in Gaidojutsu.
After wrestling throughout high school and college, Evans went on to compete professionally and became the UFC Light Heavyweight Champion in 2008. He was also named Fighter of the Year in 2008 by the UFC website Sherdog.
22. Michael Bisping – $9 Million
Topping Evans with another half a million dollars, Michael Bisping in an English MMA fighter whose net worth is $9 million. He has had a diverse past, stopping his martial arts training when he turned 18 to pursue jobs in the “real world” such as a postman and factory worker.
Eventually, he returned to MMA and trained in karate, kickboxing, and boxing. In 2014, he ranked in the top 6 middleweight in the world by the UFC website Sherdog. Now 41, he has turned his interests to acting.
21. Jose Aldo – $9 Million
Also bringing in $9 million is Jose Aldo, a Brazilian MMA fighter also known as “Junior”. He is best known for competing as a featherweight in the Ultimate Fighting Championship. He also took home the trophy for World Extreme Cage Fighting.
Jose Aldo trained in Rio, Brazil after initially wanted to be a football player and then switching to learn self-defense. He has won the majority of his fights and his wife is also an MMA fighter trained in martial arts.
20. Donald Cerrone -$9 Million
Donald Cerrone is our third fighter with a net worth of $9 million. An American MMA fighter and kickboxer, his stage name is “Cowboy”. He tends to stay pretty busy, competing in four or more fights a year. He was born in Colorado and began his MMA career in 2006.
His record is 30 wins to 7 losses, and he returned to fight in 2019 against our #1 highest-paid MMA fighter Conor McGregor. He has often been in the top five highest-ranked UFC lightweight fighters in the world.
19. Yoel Romero -$10 Million
We see a million-dollar increase with Yoel Romero at $10 million. An MMA fighter and wrestler from Cuba, he has medaled gold and silver for wrestling multiple times in the Olympics.
He has a professional record of 13 wins to 3 losses, a great achievement. He has defeated many opponents in the ring as a middleweight. His first professional fight was a win in 2009 and led to his first official UFC knockout win in 2013.
18. Junior Dos Santos – $10 Million
Junior Dos Santos is an MMA fighter and coach from Brazil. At first, he began training in martial arts for health but then began professionally training with a coach. Only after one year of MMA training, he competed professionally in 2006.
He has won eleven out of his fifteen winning matches by knockout. His most famous accomplishment is his title as the 2012 UFC Heavyweight Champion. Dos Santos’ net worth is $10 million.
17. Chael Sonnen -$10 Million
Chael Sonnen is an MMA fighter from Oregon, USA. He wrestled throughout college, shifting his focus to MMA at the age of nineteen. He fought for the UFC, but he had a bad series of losses and was dropped from the UFC.
Chael Sonnen then tried alternative professional fighting such as World Extreme Cage Fighting and eventually returned to the UFC where he lost the championship. With his net worth at $10 million, Sonnen is known as one of the best UFC fighters to never have won a UFC championship.
16. Bruce Buffer -$10 Million
Known as the “Veteran Voice of the Octagon”, Bruce Buffer has many catchphrases that make this pay-per-view spectator sport so entertaining. With his net worth at $10 million, Buffer is most famous for being a UFC announcer. While he is not a current MMA fighter, he does have professional training in judo and kickboxing.
His half-brother is also a boxing announcer. Buffer makes this list as he is an integral part of each match and is one of the highest-paid participants in the Ultimate Fighting Championship as some announcing jobs bring him a salary of $100,000 per event.
15. Alistair Overeem -$10 Million
With his net worth at $10 million, Alistair Overeem is a British MMA fighter. Growing up in the Netherlands, Overeem was an athletic child who was encouraged to pursue martial arts by his brother.
After winning his first professional fight at 19, he began to fight in many professional championships. His first UFC win was in 2011. He has 41 wins out of 57 MMA matches. He is a very skilled fighter and also competes professionally in kickboxing where he has also won a majority of his matches.
14. Frank Mir – $11 Million
Another million is added to Frank Mir, an MMA fighter born in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA. He holds the record for the most fights and wins in UFC heavyweight history, earning a well-deserved net worth of $11 million.
He has also won the UFC Heavyweight Championship twice. Currently 41 years old, Frank is married and has a total of 4 children. He has also held other jobs such as a club bouncer in Las Vegas and UFC’s Director of Security.
13. Quinton Rampage Jackson – $12 Million
Quinton Rampage Jackson jumps another million higher. Not only is he an MMA fighter and wrestler, but also an actor and coach. Originally from Tennessee, Jackson wanted to be a professional wrestler but changed to pursue MMA in Las Vegas.
He has won the UFC Light-Heavyweight Championship and the Pride Fighting Championship hosted in Japan. Now 42 years old, he is exploring his acting interests and has appeared in a few films such as The A-Team and Never Surrender with a net worth of $12 million.
12. Ronda Rousey – $13 Million
Our only female MMA fighter on the list, Ronda Rousey is worth a whopping $13 million. Rousey, born in California, became the youngest judo competitor at the 2004 Olympics and is the first American woman to win an Olympic medal in judo in 2008.
She became the first Women’s Bantamweight Champion in the 2012 UFC. Inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame in 2018, Rousey also holds the wrestling title of the second-longest Raw’s Women’s Champion. She has expanded her interests into acting, appearing in blockbuster action films like Furious 7 and The Expendables 3.
11. Chuck Liddell – $14 Million
Chuck Liddell is an MMA fighter who won the UFC Heavyweight Championship and retired from his fighting career with a net worth of $14 million. He has trained in many forms of martial arts and fought many other famous MMA fighters during his career, including our #7 Tito Ortiz. Lidell has the second most knockouts in UFC history with a total of 13.
He has a record of 21 wins to 8 losses and was inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame in 2009. He is currently pursuing his interest in acting, appearing in some movies and crime shows like Dancing with the Stars and Kick-Ass 2.
10. Randy Couture – $17 Million
Though he retired, Randy Couture is still involved in the mixed martial arts world as a commentator for the sport. With his net worth at $17 million, he made it to our top ten on the list. He is the only MMA fighter to hold two Ultimate Fighting Championship titles in two separate divisions at the same time.
Randy Couture reclaimed his title of heavyweight Ultimate Fighting Champion in 2007, a notable victory. He also has some acting experience, appearing in the Expendables movies and on Dancing with the Stars.
9. Wanderlei Silva – $18 Million
Brazilian Wanderlei Silva has collected many titles over his career including, IVC Light Heavyweight Champion, Pride 2003 Grand Prix Middleweight Champion, and Pride Middleweight Champion. Earning a total of $18 million, Silva is trained under many forms of martial arts, including Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.
He is notably known for his aggressive style of fighting. After moving to the United States, he opened his own training center in Las Vegas and plans to continue both training and fighting after some time off due to physical injuries.
8. Fedor Emelianenko – $18 Million
Equivalent to Silva, Fedor Emelianenko’s $18 million net worth hails from his successful and diverse career. He is a retired professional MMA fighter and Russian politician. In 2008, Emelianenko earned the first World Alliance of Mixed Martial Arts Heavyweight Champion title.
He was undefeated for almost 10 years and earned feared nicknames like “The Last Emperor” and “The Baddest Man on the Planet”. Though he is a retired fighter, he was president of the Russian MMA Union and went on to become a staff member of Russia’s Council of Physical Fitness and Sports in 2012.
7. Tito Ortiz – $20 Million
Tito Ortiz was given the nickname “Tito” by his father. Born Jacob Christopher Ortiz in California, Ortiz began wrestling through his school years and college after a rough childhood. His career included losses to big-name fighters such as Randy Couture and Chuck Liddell.
He began to coach for ultimate fighting and retired from the UFC, instead of fighting for a different MMA streaming service. He owns an MMA equipment and clothing line and his own training gym in California, boosting his net worth to a total of $20 million.
6. BJ Penn – $22 Million
American BJ Penn was the first non-Brazilian winner of the World Jiu-Jitsu Championship and tops Ortiz by another two million dollars, bringing his net worth to $22 million. He is a UFC Lightweight Champion and UFC Welterweight Champion, the second to win two titles in two different categories.
BJ Penn went on to be an undefeated lightweight for over eight years. He is friends with Anderson Silva, a previous contender on this list. In addition to fighting, Penn has also coached and written two books. He has appeared in tv shows like Hawaii Five-0.
5. Brock Lesnar – $28 Million
Coming in at our number 5 spot, Brock Lesnar is an American professional MMA fighter and wrestler worth a total of $28 million. He started out with wrestling throughout high school and college, having an undefeated streak.
He has won a total of four WWE Championships and won other titles, including winning the UFC Heavyweight Championship twice. Brock Lesnar eventually pursued professional football with the Minnesota Vikings but was cut from the team before the season began. He is currently married in Minnesota and has multiple children.
4. Khabib Nurmagomedov – $30 Million
Khabib Nurmagomedov is a Russian professional MMA fighter with a net worth of $30 million, securing him fourth on this list. Nurmagomedov won the UFC Lightweight Championship in 2018. He has a record of 26 wins to 0 losses for the UFC.
He has also set the highest record takedowns in one fight at twenty-one. A worthy fighter, Nurmagomedov successfully defended his title against our #1 highest paid MMA fighter Conor McGregor in 2018.
3. Georges St. Pierre – $30 Million
In third place, Georges St. Pierre, a retired Canadian MMA professional fighter, comes in with $30 million. He began his interest in MMA by learning it for self-defense. He retired with the most titles as a welterweight champion in the UFC.
Georges St. Pierre returned to the UFC to fight Michael Bisping in 2017 and won the middleweight title through his victory. St. Pierre officially retired from UFC in 2020, the same year when he was inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame and named Canadian Athlete of the Year.
2. Rorion Gracie – $50 Million
The disparity only grows another twenty million dollars. With his net worth at $50 million, Rorion Gracie is a professional MMA fighter born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He is best known for his family, the Gracie Family, who developed Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.
Gracie co-founded the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) and helped introduce his family martial arts to the rest of the world. In 2011, he wrote a book called the Gracie Diet and was named “Instructor of the Year” in 2006. In addition to his career, he is living in California as a producer, educator, and father of ten children.
1. Conor McGregor – $120 Million
More than doubling his predecessor’s net worth, Conor McGregor is one of the highest-paid/ richest MMA fighters in the world. He has earned a knockout $120 million! This professional Irish fighter began his athletics in sports like soccer and boxing.
He eventually began training under well-known fighters and coaches, winning his first MMA match at eighteen years old. He has developed his own techniques and moves he uses in the ring to fight and defeat his opponents.
The most famous fight that earned him the most money was against undefeated champion Floyd Mayweather, bringing him hundreds of millions of dollars in both pay-per-views and endorsements from companies.
Top 25 Richest MMA Fighters in the World (Rankings)
The paychecks of these MMA fighters definitely pack a huge punch. These athletes have fought their way to the top of the world through their powerful fists and feet and will continue to defend their titles.
Through hours of training and determination, the top 25 richest MMA fighters have definitely earned their gold. As the world of MMA continues to change, it will be fun to see who on this list rises up and who is knocked out.
Thank you for reading! Please share or comment on your favorite MMA fighter and what you thought was the most interesting part of this article.