What Is the Salary of MMA Fighters?

The average salary for UFC MMA fighters in 2014 was $74,428. This figure was down from the averages of previous years, including 2013's average of $90,719. The UFC paid out an estimated $41,977,500 in salaries in 2014.

There were 120 UFC MMA fighters who earned six-figure salaries in 2014, although 57 percent of UFC's fighters made less than the $45,000 median U.S. average household income. There were 100 UFC fighters that made $10,000 or less in 2014. The highest-earning MMA fighter was not a UFC fighter; Alistair Overeem made $1,078,571.

The two women and 10 men who wore championship belts for the UFC in 2014 made an average of $397,417, which was down from the year before when the average for championship fighters was $552,363. In all likelihood, these fighters made much more, since pay-per-view bonuses are not disclosed. Top fighters who headline a fight receive bonuses for pay-per-view events on top of sponsorship money for any products that the athlete endorses.

Michael Bisping topped the list of UFC best-paid fighters, bringing home a purse of $975,000, followed by Robbie Lawler at $813,000 and Lyoto Machida at $750,000. Other top-paid fighters include Donald Ceronne, who made $616,000, Gegard Mousasi, who made $600,000 and Frankie Edgar, who made $590,000 in 2014.