UFC ring girls get paid $1,000 per fight and $5,000 each event they appear in, according to Mediareferee.com. While some Octagon Girls are more popular than others, the UFC gives them equal base pay.
However, UFC ring girls are able to earn more money if they are selected to appear for major pay-per-view events. Compensation may vary depending on the intensity of the bout they perform in, and just like the fighters themselves, UFC ring girls are also given bonuses based on performance.
That said, the more notable UFC ring girls can also earn more than their contemporaries through their massive social media presence and sponsorship with brands.
Arianny Celeste – who's arguably the most iconic UFC ring girl – reportedly earns $1,000,000 annually, making her the highest-paid Octagon Girl by a mile. Celeste has been with the UFC since 2006, having been selected by the company at 21-years-old.
Appearing in the octagon is her greatest claim to fame, but she has parlayed her success as a UFC ring girl into a modeling and TV hosting career. Celeste posed for the November 2010 issue of Playboy magazine, which was one of the top-selling issues that year.
Camila Oliveira is the second richest UFC ring girl with a reported yearly salary of $50,000. Meanwhile, UFC ring girls Brittney Palmer, Chrissy Blair, and Carly Baker make $30,000 a year.
Khabib Nurmagomedov blasts UFC ring girls
There has recently been a debate over the importance of UFC ring girls after retired MMA superstar Khabib Nurmagomedov called them "the most useless people in martial arts." In a recent Eagle Fighting Championship press conference, the ex-UFC champ said:
“Look, I don’t want to offend anyone. Ring girls are the most useless people in martial arts. What is their purpose? I have a question. You can show that it is the second round on the screen. I realize that is a history. History knows many mistakes. We read history to avoid mistakes of the past in the future. If we look in the history, it says they are useless. That is my personal opinion.” (translation and subtitles by Fighting Flashback)
The Dagestani drew flak for his comments, with several of his fellow UFC stars coming to the defense of the cageside beauties. Perhaps the loudest voice against Khabib's comments was that of former UFC middleweight champ Michael Bisping.
During a recent episode of the Believe You Me podcast, Bisping weighed in on Nurmagomedov’s comments and said that UFC ring girls are an integral part of the combat sports industry.
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