The UFC’s biggest superstars generate the biggest buzz, draw millions of eyes, and sell the most tickets and pay-per-views. The UFC is by no means loose with the purse strings, but for the organization’s biggest draws, there is a lot of money to be made. In the past, the UFC has seen stars like Jon Jones, Khabib Nurmagomedov, Nate Diaz, Jorge Masvidal, Brock Lesnar, and Ronda Rousey compete for the spot of top earner. So, who is the highest paid UFC fighter in 2021? There’s only one.

The highest paid UFC fighter in 2021: Conor McGregor

“The Notorious” Conor McGregor is the highest paid MMA fighter in the world and the highest paid UFC fighter in 2021. He made over $40,000,000 in 2021 with two PPV fights at UFC 257 and UFC 264.

How much did Conor McGregor get paid at UFC 257?

At UFC 257, McGregor made $20,500,000 fighting Dustin Poirier in a rematch from their first fight at UFC 178. His base pay to fight was $5,000,000 and his pay-per-view payout was $15,500,000. Despite losing by TKO in the second round, McGregor came home with a bigger payday than Poirier.

How much money did Conor McGregor make at UFC 264?

At UFC 264, Conor made $23,000,000 fighting Dustin Poirier for the third time in their trilogy matchup. His base salary for the fight was 5,000,000 and he earned another $18,000,000 from his portion of the pay-per-view sales. Despite breaking his leg and losing again by TKO to Poirier, “Notorious” came home with the bigger fight purse once again.

The ongoing issue with fighter pay

It’s not so lucrative for all UFC fighters. Whilst the highest paid UFC fighters take home millions of dollars, prelim fighters often have trouble making ends meet. The UFC is under pressure from fighters, fans and the media to increase the percentage of revenue paid to fighters.

Michael is a lifelong fight fan and martial artist. He has been in the MMA world for over a decade as an athlete and analyst. A consummate student of the game, Michael lives and breathes fight sports.