Data study reveals MMA is the fastest growing sport financially in last five years

Data study reveals MMA as the fastest growing sport financially over the past five years.

Parimatch has investigated the salaries of the top 100 earning UFC fighters and compared their salaries against the top earning athletes in other major sports from 2015-2021.

Fighters will publicly discuss how they're underpaid when compared to athletes from other sports and payment disputes during contract negotiations have even caused fighters to vacate their own championship titles.

The salaries of UFC fighters often cause controversy in the media and is a well-documented subject.

Jake Paul has slammed Dana White for the small purses handed out to his biggest fighters.

On the other hand, UFC's biggest star Conor McGregor was reported to be the world's highest-paid athlete earlier last year.

This study analyses the financial data to determine whether MMA fighters have been underpaid during that period and how their earnings compare to other sports.

What the study reveals:

UFC fighter earnings have increased 15% annually on average over the past five years, this is more than any other league in the study including the Premier League & NBA

Despite the growth, on average a top NBA player's salary will be over 40 times more than a UFC fighter's earnings in a year

Conor McGregor is the world's highest-paid athlete but the majority of his earnings came from product endorsements and his own business ventures.

At face value, fighters competing in the UFC do get paid significantly less than players in other major sports.

On average, a top fighter would have received £267,480 from the UFC in 2020.

In contrast, an NBA star playing for one of the major teams could have easily made more than 40 times the amount a UFC fighter would make.

The average salary of the top 100 in selective sports

NFL

Average salary of top 100: £9,069,325

Average number of matches: 17

Per match earnings: £533,490

UFC

Average salary of top 100: £401,221

Average number of matches: 1.5

Per match earnings: £267,480

NBA

Average salary of top 100: £17,702,051

Average number of matches: 82

Per match earnings: £215,879

EPL

Average salary of top 100: £7,815,680

Average number of matches: 38

Per match earnings: £205,676

MLB

Average salary of top 100: £14,914,324

Average number of matches: 162

Per match earnings: £92,064

PGA

Average salary of top 100: £2,291,170

Average number of matches: 25

Per match earnings: £91,647

NHL

Average salary of top 100: £4,602,256

Average number of matches: 56

Per match earnings: £82,183

Read more: Every boxing fight this year, including Fury vs Whyte

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