As a people, we kind of need to come to terms with our penchant for violence. We can’t seem to make world peace work no matter how hard we try, we’ve committed some heinous atrocities against our own species and, most tellingly, we collectively made Mixed Martial Arts a thing. Like wrestling but real, like boxing but less restricted, MMA has blown up in recent years with the explosive popularity of promotions like UFC and Bellator as well as the sudden cultural relevance of fighter such as Ronda Rousey and Conor McGregor. With it’s rise to the mainstream has come an influx of finances that have spread around the industry according to fighting ability and drawing power, meaning that the gauge of who the top fighters in the world are isn’t necessarily dependent on who currently holds the belt, but rather who’s making the most money. With that being said, here are the top 10 wealthiest MMA fighters walking the planet today.
10. Randy ‘The Natural’ Couture Net Worth: $14 Million
One of the most decorated UFC champions in the company’s history, Couture is also the oldest having left the sport at the age of 47. Those two claims to fame have netted him a healthy $14 million net worth and put him far above the average fighter of his age.
9. Jacob ‘Tito’ Ortiz Net Worth: $15 Million
‘Tito’ Ortiz is one of the most beloved UFC fighters of all time and regularly sells out Pay-Per-Views. He stands fairly tall in the fighting world with a 16-11 record and even left the sport on a high note with a submission victory over Chael Sonnen.
8. Wanderlei ‘The Axe Murderer’ Silva Net Worth: $18 Million
One of the most aggressive fighters in the MMA world today, Wanderlei is a black belt in Jiu-Jitsu and Muay Thai but is best known for his brutal street-brawler style. He’s won championships in IVC and Pride and even holds numerous fight records for the Japanese promotion. He even came back from a grizzly injury after an initial misstep.
7. Fedor ‘The Last Emperor’ Emelianenko Net Worth: $18 Million
Something of a journeyman in MMA, Emelianenko has been a part of several different promotions in his career and won championships in almost all of them. Going undefeated for almost a decade, he’s won the Pride Heavyweight Championship, the World Alliance of MMA Heavyweight Championship and the Pride Grand Prix to name a few. He currently has left MMA to focus on his political career.
6. Anderson ‘Spider Man’ Silva Net Worth: $18 Million
Siva’s sizable wealth is reflective of his reputation as one of the UFC’s best Middleweight Champions. He previously held a record-breaking win streak that was only broken with a knockout loss against rival Chris Weidman. Dana White has gone on record calling Silva the greatest MMA fighter in history, though unfortunately, it’s not clear if he’ll ever recover from a devastating leg injury suffered in the octagon.
5. BJ ‘The Prodigy’ Penn Net Worth: $22 Million
Among his other accolades, Penn is the first non-Brazilian winner of the World Jiu-Jitsu Championship. A former UFC Lightweight and Welterweight Champion, Penn is also credited by Dana White with bringing lower weight classes into the UFC fold. As a result, Penn is a future UFC Hall of Fame inductee and is paid handsomely for his fights.
4. Brock ‘The Beast Incarnate’ Lesnar Net Worth: $22 Million
Though he’s primarily known for his work in the WWE, Brock Lesnar is also responsible for a large influx of fans coming to the UFC when he made the switch to MMA fighting. Though his UFC record was pretty stale, 5-3-0, he briefly held the UFC Heavyweight Championship and is known for the highly lucrative endorsement deals such a victory earned him.
3. Georges ‘GSP’ St. Pierre Net Worth: $30 Million
One of the most successful UFC fighters in the company history, Georges St. Pierre has had two long runs with the Welterweight Championship and currently sits pretty with a 26-2-0 record. Having been named Most Outstanding Fighter for several years in a row by the Wrestling Observer, he can charge in the millions for his endorsement deals, but still keeps his focus on the bouts. He made an emphatic return to the octagon in November of 2017 and is currently looking forward to his next fight.
2. Rorion Gracie Net Worth: $50 Million
Heir to the Gracie family legacy and co-founder of UFC, Rorion Gracie actually made most of his money in promoting fights, though his early MMA career is largely credited with introducing the world to Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. A not insignificant portion of his wealth was also earned as a film fight coordinator and movie stuntman. His students include some of the most famous and successful MMA fighters of the modern era and also CM Punk.
1. Conor ‘Mystic Mac’ McGregor Net Worth: $85 Million
The notorious Conor McGregor is arguably one of the most famous fighters on the planet today in just about any combat sport. After becoming the first person in UFC history to hold two belts simultaneously, he picked up a $100 million purse in his famous boxing match with the undefeated Floyd ‘Money’ Mayweather. He’s admitted in the past that he’d be a lot richer if it weren’t for his obscene spending habits, but considering his larger-than-life personality has helped him earn millions just by talking, he won’t be going broke anytime soon.