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
Average salary of top 100: £9,069,325
Average number of matches: 17
Per match earnings: £533,490
Average salary of top 100: £401,221
Average number of matches: 1.5
Per match earnings: £267,480
Average salary of top 100: £17,702,051
Average number of matches: 82
Per match earnings: £215,879
Average salary of top 100: £7,815,680
Average number of matches: 38
Per match earnings: £205,676
Average salary of top 100: £14,914,324
Average number of matches: 162
Per match earnings: £92,064
Average salary of top 100: £2,291,170
Average number of matches: 25
Per match earnings: £91,647
Average salary of top 100: £4,602,256
Average number of matches: 56
Per match earnings: £82,183