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Top 5 highest payouts in UFC history

UFC 257 Poirier v McGregor: Weigh-Ins
UFC 257 Poirier v McGregor: Weigh-Ins
ANALYST
Modified 01 Apr 2021
Top 5 / Top 10

The UFC will soon be owned by a media conglomerate after the announcement of Endeavor's acquisition of the world's largest MMA promotion.

Since its humble beginning as an underground fighting league, the UFC has exponentially grown into the sporting powerhouse that it is today. As UFC continues to grow in terms of popularity and revenue, it has also gained the ability to give massive payouts t its top stars.

On that note, let's take a look at five fighters who received massive paydays from the UFC. Listed below are the five highest payouts in UFC history.

#5 Georges St. Pierre (vs Michael Bisping at UFC 217)

UFC 217: Bisping v St-Pierre
UFC 217: Bisping v St-Pierre

Georges St. Pierre's Octagon comeback, after a four-year hiatus, earned him the most lucrative payday of his career.

The French-Canadian icon ended Michael Bisping's short title reign in November 2017 to become the new UFC middleweight champion. The icing on Georges St. Pierre's cake came in the form of a massive $2.5 million purse.

Georges St. Pierre, unfortunately, has not stepped back inside the UFC cage since then. He relinquished the UFC middleweight title shortly after winning it.


#4 Brock Lesnar (vs Mark Hunt in UFC 200)

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UFC 200: Tate v Nunes
UFC 200: Tate v Nunes

After retiring from MMA in 2011, Brock Lesnar reconnected with his pro-wrestling roots when he signed with the WWE. It was a lucrative deal for Lesnar as he quickly turned into one of the highest-paid WWE superstars, all while working on a part-time basis.

So how did Dana White lure him back into the Octagon? With a truckload of money, apparently. For his fight against Mark Hunt in the co-main event of UFC 200, Lesnar reportedly received a base payout of $2.5 million.

Brock Lesnar handily won his return Octagon return, beating Mark Hunt in a unanimous decision (29-27, 29-27, 29-27). Unfortunately, Lesnar's win was overturned into a no-contest test result that revealed that he violated the UFC's anti-doping policy.


#3 Conor McGregor (vs Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 299)

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UFC 229: Khabib v McGregor
UFC 229: Khabib v McGregor

After spending two years away from the UFC, Conor McGregor returned against Khabib Nurmagomedov in UFC 299 with the lighweight title on the line. Nurmagomedov proved to be the better fighter when dominating the Irishman before forcing him to tap out in round four.

But of course, Conor McGregor's drawing power ensured that he received a higher payout than the victor. For the main event bout, McGregor reportedly bagged $3 million.

UFC 299 featured one of the most anticipated matchups the promotion has ever seen. That's because McGregor and Nurmagomedov were involved in a personal rivalry that had taken place outside of the cage.


#2 Ronda Rousey (vs Amanda Nunes at UFC 207)

UFC 207 Nunes v Rousey
UFC 207 Nunes v Rousey

Ronda Rousey's last dance against Amanda Nunes was also her most lucrative fight in the UFC. She was reportedly paid $3 million, which, at that time, was the largest payout in UFC history.

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Credited with the inception of the women's divisions in the UFC, Ronda Rousey was a legitimate mega-star during her peak. She won six fights in a row and was eventually crowned the inaugural UFC women's bantamweight champion, beating Liz Carmouche in her Octagon debut.

Ronda Rousey was on top of the MMA world until she met Holly Holm in November 2015. What many expected to be another dominant win for Rousey turned out to be one of the biggest shocks in UFC history. Holm dethroned Rousey in round two when she connected with a devastating headkick that put her opponent to sleep.

After an entire calendar year, Ronda Rousey made her much-anticipated comeback fight. However, her UFC career ended that night when she once again suffered a brutal knockout loss.


#1 Conor McGregor (vs Dustin Poirier at UFC 257)

UFC 257: Poirier v McGregor
UFC 257: Poirier v McGregor

Conor McGregor may have lost his recent outing against Dustin Poirier but considering how much he earned from the fight, the Irishman still walked away from UFC 257 with a massive win.

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Conor McGregor reportedly earned a whopping $5 million payday for his rematch against Poirier. According to SportsDaily, McGregor's total earnings have reached $20 million thanks to his sponsors and a cut of pay-per-view sales.

For many years, Conor McGregor has been the UFC's biggest draw. In that sense, it's not surprising to learn that the UFC rewarded Conor McGregor with the biggest payday ever, to thank him for his services as the promotion's most reliable cash cow.

Published 01 Apr 2021, 22:50 IST
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