2011 might still have a few months left in it, but several mixed martial artists bank accounts are much fatter than they were when they rang in the New Year. But, mirror, mirror on the wall, who's the richest of them all? We've got the answer, of course.
We've compiled all fighter salaries from the big two (soon to be one?) MMA companies in North America, the UFC and Strikeforce (Bellator's fighters don't make the big bucks), to see which fighter has got the fattest pockets thus far in 2011. It is worth noting that these are only the reported salaries plus Fight of the Night, Knockout of the Night and Submission of the Night bonuses that have been made public. Many top performing fighters get additional bonuses paid out to them that aren't reported, plus the top guys get a cut of the pay-per-view buys for events that they headline (not to mention every fighter makes sponsorship money). Also, many athletic commissions don't report fighter's salary info, so for those we've estimated a fighter's purse based on what they have earned in their other recent fights. Fighters with some estimated purses are marked with a * beside their name. This data should still be considered very close to accurate, as most fighters' purses remain rather steady from fight to fight (unless they ink a new contract in the meantime). However, many big name Strikeforce fighters who have traded leather this year (Andrei Arlovski, Alistair Overeem) have salaries that are impossible to estimate because they have never fought for Strikeforce in a region that reports salaries.
With all those disclaimers out of the way, here are the top 10 highest earning fighters thus far in 2011, as well as the top 10 for the UFC and Strikeforce.
TO SEE SALARY INFO FOR ALL 337 MEN WHO FOUGHT IN THE UFC IN 2011, CLICK HERE.
Overall Top Ten Earning Fighters in 2011
(data updated to UFC 141)
|2||Michael Bisping||$ 850,000|
|3||Dan Henderson*||$ 820,000|
|4||Fedor Emelianenko*||$ 800,000|
|5||Jon Jones*||$ 785,000|
|6||Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira*||$ 750,000|
|7||Vitor Belfort*||$ 620,000|
|8||Lyoto Machida*||$ 604,000|
|9||Nick Diaz||$ 600,000|
|10||Frank Mir*||$ 575,000|
|10||Rampage Jackson*||$ 575,000|
UFC Top Ten Earning Fighters in 2011
(data updated to UFC 141)
|1||Tito Ortiz*||$ 1,495,000|
|2||Michael Bisping*||$ 850,000|
|3||Jon Jones*||$ 785,000|
|4||Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira*||$ 750,000|
|5||Vitor Belfort*||$ 620,000|
|6||Lyoto Machida*||$ 604,000|
|7||Frank Mir*||$ 575,000|
|7||Rampage Jackson*||$ 575,000|
|9||Mauricio Rua*||$ 565,000|
|10||Donald Cerrone||$ 494,000|
Strikeforce Top Ten Earning Fighters in 2011
(data updated to Melendez vs Masvidal)
|1||Fedor Emelianenko*||$ 800,000|
|2||Dan Henderson||$ 500,000|
|3||Nick Diaz||$ 325,000|
|4||Josh Barnett||$ 300,000|
|4||Daniel Cormier*||$ 300,000|
|4||Gegard Mousasi||$ 300,000|
|4||Gilbert Melendez||$ 300,000|
|8||Sergei Kharitonov*||$ 200,000|
|9||Antonio Silva*||$ 200,000|
|10||Ronaldo Souza||$ 155,000|
|10||Roger Gracie||$ 155,000|
The numbers aren't updated for several of these guys like Fedor and Dan Henderson. You have Dan Henderson down at $250,000 which is what he made against Feijao. How about the $800,000 he made for his fight against Fedor? How about the $1.5 million that Fedor made against Hendo for that matter? Would put them both at the top of that list.
@RobertAllenHeadley Ok, I updated them now to the best of my ability. Enjoy!
I'd like to update the Strikeforce salaries but the problem is the vast majority of their events are in states where salary info isn't released. Those salary figures you mentioned for Hendo and Fedor were never officially confirmed - they were just rumours. I'll see what I can figure out, though.