Conor McGregor had one of the biggest UFC starts ever. It's no small wonder that he is also the highest-paid UFC fighter. He is acutely aware of his worth, managing to land lucrative contracts out of the UFC as well as collecting hefty prize money. Conor openly talked about his goal to be the first MMA fighter to make $100 million-plus:
"I'm waiting on my next multi, nine-figure contract, which is en route, I just let everyone up there know, I let the bosses know and everybody there know what I bring and my worth. I'm still here the highest-paid. Let's compare contracts. Because the contract that I'm talking now is nine figures, nine figures I'm talking. Nobody in the game has talked nine figures. That's $100 million plus. That's my contract, so, that's where I'm at and I've done it the way I've done it. Either learn from it or don't.”
Money and earnings are hard to track, especially in MMA, so it’s not an easy task to establish who exactly is the highest-paid UFC fighter. Prize money is disclosed, with contracts remaining sealed. Unknown is the exact amount of post-fight bonuses, nor we can tell the entire sum of sponsorship money. UFC is, also, reluctant to disclose just how much money is involved in matches taking place in other countries.
However, there are experts who put Conor McGregor’s net worth at $15 million as of this moment, which is a conservative estimate, considering that he nabbed $500,000 after UFC 194 alone. His earnings for 2015 seem roughly around $1.4 million, and that’s only from three fights.
Highest-Paid UFC Fighters: McGregor vs Siver
UFC Fight Night 59 was held in January 2015, headlined by the bout between Conor McGregor and Dennis Siver. McGregor was as brilliant as ever. Adding new tricks to his vocabulary of strikes, namely spinning kicks to the body, Conor wielded his trademark left which repeatedly hurt Siver. Stocky Dennis Siver tried to take down McGregor, but he earned a nasty gash over his eye, and finally succumbed to the Irishman’s mighty blows halfway through the second round.
Earnings were one figure greater than Conor’s previous purse, standing at $220,000. The total breaks down to $85,000 for showing, $85,000 as a win bonus, and $50,000 as a Performance of the Night bonus.
Highest-Paid UFC Fighters: McGregor vs Mendes
Facing Chad Mendes, one of the finest wrestlers around, many wondered how would McGregor fare after his rapid rise in the UFC. The question was answered in the second round, but it was a tough one for McGregor, who collapsed to the mat in tears upon winning. Mendes was enduring Conor’s devastating punches and blows, taking the Irishman down and peppering him with elbow shots, managing to open a big cut above McGregor’s eye. Conor, however, recovered after Mendes made a mistake. The wrestler went for a choke, but McGregor rebounded, landing a left hand bomb, raining more punches after that until Mendes went down for TKO victory.
This fight earned him $580,000. It breaks down to $500,000 for showing, $50,000 for a Performance of the Night bonus, and an estimated $30,000 in Reebok sponsorship earnings.
Highest-Paid UFC Fighters: McGregor vs Aldo
Jose Aldo was supposed to meet McGregor at UFC 189 in July 2015, but had to drop out due to a rib injury. In the meantime, Gregor defeated Chad Mendes, so December and UFC 194 was the time and place to face Jose Aldo. There’s really not much else to say. They stepped into the octagon, McGregor sidestepped a charging Aldo and boom! Conor lands a left hand to the jaw. “No power, just precision”, said McGregor after the match. “No speed, just timing. That’s all it takes, especially when you have my left hand. Nothing can take that left hand.”
Conor McGregor scored it big again with $590,000 total for 13 seconds of fighting. Divided up, the winnings totaled $500,000 for showing, $50,000 for a Fight of the Night bonus, plus an estimated $40,000 in Reebok sponsorship earnings.
So far, we don’t have info about McGregor’s income from Bud Light, Monster Energy, Volvo, and Dethrone Royalty Brand. If he really pulls off that $100 million contract he will become, by far, the highest-paid UFC fighter, eclipsing other fighters by an order of magnitude, figuratively speaking.