Fighting can get people into a lot of trouble. Of course, there are times when it is necessary to protect ourselves, our families, or our rights. But what about people who make a living fighting? These people put their health and physical and mental condition at risk every day by taking on opponents who often end up getting the best of them.
But for those few who stay strong, train, and are determined to be the best; they can rack up quite an impressive nest egg of wealth! The following 20 MMA fighters (starting from the least wealth to the greatest) are the richest in the world, and therefore, we can say that they genuinely do illustrate the “survival of the fittest!”
1. Jose’ Aldo – Net Worth: $9 million
Jose’ Aldo is a well-known martial artist and fighter from Brazil. He placed 4th in the WEC Featherweight Championship and first in the UPC Featherweight Championship during the UFC/WEC merger. Jose’s net worth is around $9 million. So that’s a lot of feathers!
2. Frank Shamrock – Net Worth: $9 million
Frank Shamrock has a net worth of $9 million, making him tie with fellow millionaire fighter Jose’ Aldo. He was the first to win the UFC Middleweight competition, and he retired as an undefeated champ four times over. He has a lot to be proud of though, and his various competitions have left his opponent and his fans spellbound time after time.
3. Frank Mir – Net Worth: $9 million
Frank Mir is a martial artist who regularly appears as a competitor in the Bellator MMA Heavyweight competitions. He fought in the UFC for 16 years previous to this time. He holds the record for the most fights in UFC history. His net worth is currently around $9 million. Would you fight that much for that much money? It’s something to think about if you are considering getting into the MMA world.
4. Junior dos Santos – Net Worth: $10 million
Junior dos Santos is a former UFC Heavyweight Champion who currently has the ranking of #4 on the UFC charts. He’s a mixed martial artist, and his net worth is around $10 million. With a $10 million net worth, it begs the question: What does it take to be number one?
5. Jon Jones – Net Worth: $10 million
Jon Jones is a mixed martial artist from the U.S. and a three-time Light Heavyweight Champion of the UFC. He was involved in some “hit-and-run” felonies that cast a shadow over his career. But he was reinstated into the UFC in 2015 after having his rankings removed due to these incidents. He won the Light-Heavyweight title in 2017 but recently tested positive for steroids, creating more problems for the well-known UFC champ. His net worth currently stands at $10 million, but his behavior outside the arena threatens his wealth and his status in the UFC rankings.
6. Chael Sonnen – Net Worth: $10 million
Another popular UFC and MMA fighter is Chael Sonnel. He is another martial artist who signed with the Bellator MMA and regularly competes in the Light Heavyweight division. He recently competed in the UFC, WEC, and Pancrase competitions. His net worth is currently estimated at around $10 million. That’s pretty good when you consider how many competitions it took him to get there.
7. Sebastiaan “Bas” Rutten – Net Worth: $10 million
Sebastian “Bas” Rutten is a mixed martial artist, as well as a kickboxer, and professional wrestler. He is a three-time world champion for the King od Pancrase title, and he finished with a 22-fight winning streak. His net worth is estimated around $10 million. As to how he got his middle name, you would have to ask Rutten. It seems to be a shortened form of his first name, and it is probably easier to say for the MC during the fights.
8. Ronda Rousey – Net worth: $12 million
Ronda Rousey is the only female martial artist to make the richest MMA fighters list. She known judo and she is also an accomplished actress. She started out as a Judo athlete but started adding skills to her repertoire until she finally made it into the UFC. She is the former Women’s Bantamweight Champion, and she has won the MMA fight title 12 times in a row! Being the only female MMA expert with this winning streak as well as having a net worth of over $12 million. It’s clear that she’s the type of woman that men won’t pick on!
9. Quinton “Rampage” Jackson – Net Worth: $12 million
Quinton “Rampage” Jackson” is an actor, retired professional wrestler, and MMA (mixed martial artist). He is a former UFC Light-Heavyweight Champion and has starred in many movie roles over the years. His talents have allowed him to compete and win several various fighting competitions as well as to show off his acting talents and doing most of his fighting stunts. With this versatile tool at his command, it’s no wonder he is one of the wealthiest MMA fighters in the ring with a net worth of over $12 million! Would you subject yourself to this kind of physical battery for that much money?
10. Jacob Christopher “Tito” Ortiz – Net Worth: $15 million
Jacob “Tito” Ortiz is another legend to the MMA world. He is now retired from fighting, but he has made a career of making a scene with the UFC crowd, which tends to be quite loyal regarding their favorite fighters. Many of his most famous fights were available for the PPV (pay-per-view) audience. Ortiz is the former Light-Heavyweight Champion of the UFC. He is considered one of the richest fighters in the world and his current net worth stands at $15 million.
11. Chuck Liddell – Net Worth: $14 million
Chuck Liddell is worth over $14 million according to the latest wealth review publications. He’s retired from the MMA where he racked up plenty of first-place awards as well as from the UFC Light/Heavyweight Championships. In 2009, he reached a milestone in his career when he won the honor of being placed into the UFC Hall of Fame. The goal of most MMA fighters is to win this coveted honor. Liddell has proven his ability to stand out as both an MMA expert and a title holder.
12. Randy Couture – Net Worth: $17 million
Randy Couture is a retired United States Army Sergeant as well as a famous MMA artist. His background in the military enabled him to get some of the best fighting training available. He later applied it to his UFC career, and it enabled him to win six different title fights during his career. Randy is one of the three fighters who has won multiple titles in one career in different classes of fights. All of these things have helped him to obtain the net worth he now enjoys which is close to $17 million.
13. Wanderlei Silva – Net Worth: $18 million
Wanderlei Silva is another MMA expert and martial artist who has competed in the Japan Pride Fighting Competition as well as the UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship). Silva currently holds the record for the most title defenses as well as the most knockout and wins. He has what is considered the longest endurance is winning streak in all of PRIDE history, and he fought in the Middleweight division. His net worth is estimated to be around $18 million. He is one of the few MMA fighters who has also competed in the Japanese fighting competitions.
14. Fedor Emelianenko – Net Worth: $18 million
Fedor Emelianenko has a net worth of $18 million. How did he win this status? He has competed successfully in some high-profile fights over the years including the Bellator MMA Championships. He won the Submission/Beatdown award in 2008 and other similar titles that have differentiated him from the other fighters in his category.
15. Anderson Silva – Net Worth: $18 million
Andreson Silva has a current net worth of $18 million. He is one of the richest fighters in the world. Some of his net worth is due to having held the longest winning streak in UFC history through 16 consecutive wins and 10 title defenses. That’s quite a record as his net worth shows and, as for his critics, he must be someone who laughs all of the ways to the bank.
16. Brock Edward Lesnar – Net Worth: $22 million
Brock Edward Lesnar is a professional MMA and a professional wrestler. He holds the former UFC Heavyweight Championship title and currently wrestles for the WWF. He has a current net worth of $22 million, and he has proven to be one of the most successful MMA fighters worldwide. His net worth allows him to enjoy the finer things in life when he’s not busy defending himself in the ring!
17. Jay Dee Penn – Net Worth: $22 million
Jay Dee Penn ties with Brock Lesnar with a net worth of $22 million. He is a mixed martial artist and Jiu-Jitsu disciple, and he regularly shows off his talents in the various “fighting arts” through many avenues. He has won both the Welterweight UFC and Lightweight UFC titles in more than one weight class, making him one of the richest and unique fighters in the ring.
18. George St-Pierre – Net Worth: $25 million
George St-Pierre is a mixed martial artist from Canada and a three-time winner of the Welterweight Championship in the UFC. He is one of the greatest fighters of all times, and his net worth shows this fact at $25 million. He is the 3rd richest fighter in the entire world as of this writing (in 2018). That’s a pretty big feat, but he has achieved it well by showing his endurance, speed, and agility throughout his career.
19. Rorion Gracie – Net Worth: $50 million
Rorion Gracie has a net worth of $50 million. This is twice the net worth of George St-Pierre, and this makes him the 2nd richest fighter in the entire world as of this writing. He was born in Brazil, and he’s a master Jiu-Jisu Grandmaster, trainer, and lecturer and the co-founder of the UFC. He also has his hand in other lucrative ventures which may explain why his wealth has climbed to such great heights. He is involved in the writing and publishing world, as well and he is a producer in his spare time.
20. Conor McGregor – Net Worth: $85 million
Conor McGregor is the wealthiest fighter on record in the entire world with an estimated net worth of $85 million. He has Irish heritage, and he has fought professionally as an MMA fighter in the UFC. His technique and appearance with the full chest tattoo of a black panther and tiger and other graffiti, have added to his reputation for being the most notorious fighter in the ring. He once took on Floyd Mayweather, a legend of boxing, which proved to be one of the smartest moves of his career. This move added greatly to his net worth due to the excitement of seeing the two go at each other in the ring. The fans loved it, no matter whose side they were on.
Fighting to Win
All of these professional fighters, judo and martial art experts, and boxers have proven one thing: they know how to fight. They also know how to entertain a crowd which has become increasingly more demanding as time has gone on.
It’s not enough to lay a few punches as Muhammed Ali did in the 70s or to perform a few techniques that seem out of the ordinary. These fighters came up in a time when people demanded more excitement, more punches, more surprises, and more gusto.
And all of them seemed to have figured out how to deliver this in high form.
It’s interesting to note the huge gap in net worth between Gracie and McGregor and one can’t help but wonder just why McGregor has been able almost to double the income Gracie did. But when you realize that McGregor is in many other industries in addition to fighting, it’s easier to understand.
Like any career or pursuit, there comes a time when someone has to ask themselves whether it’s worth the risk. The danger and vulnerability that these people face every time they step into the ring are massive. But they all decided a long time ago it is what they loved doing.
Whatever these MMA expert do, they give it their all in the ring and outside the circle. When you think about their wealth and how they are paid too much money, it’s practical to also figure in the immense amount of physical and mental risk they put themselves through to be the best.
One well-calculated aim could put them out of business-permanently.