As the sport of mixed martial arts continues to cultivate a larger audience, the more organizations like the UFC will be able to adequately pay their top-shelf talent the money they deserve.
While MMA as a whole is a long ways away from paying athletes Floyd Mayweather-esque money, it's come a long way and, finally fighters can enjoy a more-than-comfortable lifestyle.
The following figures were reported by their respective governing athletic commissions post-fight and are based on single bout earnings, not earnings within a fiscal year or a duration spanning an entire athlete's career.
In his organizational debut, Mirko Cro Cop took on an unheralded up-and-comer in Eddie Sanchez at UFC 67 in February of 2007.
It was a first-round TKO victory for the former Pride star, who at the time was widely considered in the top three of the heavyweight division.
For his dominant performance, the Croatian took home a whopping $350,000, making him one of the highest-paid athletes in the organization at the time.
Former Strikeforce champion Cung Le made his way to the UFC for the first time last November when he took on the legendary Wanderlei Silva.
Though the Sanshou expert rocked the Brazilian early, "The Axe Murderer" later clinched the TKO victory after a devastating assault of knees and punches yielded the stoppage.
The "Fight of the Night"-worthy performance earned Le $350,000.
A champion in both the K-1 and mixed martial arts realm, Alistair Overeem would finally make his highly anticipated Octagon debut this past December when he took on fellow heavyweight juggernaut Brock Lesnar.
In a dominant performance, Overeem deftly defeated Lesnar with a bevy of knees before a final kick to the midsection dropped the behemoth. Subsequent right hands to the head and body sealed the first-round TKO victory at UFC 141, for which "The Demolition Man" earned $385,714.28 for his efforts.
Reigning UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre is one of the leading figures in the sport of mixed martial arts.
Not only is he one of the more prominent and notable fighters, he's also one of the best paid. At UFC 100, the Canadian took on perennial contender Thiago Alves. St-Pierre bested the Brazilian over the course of five rounds, taking home the dominant decision win, for which he earned $400,000.
After being devastated by Frank Mir at UFC 92, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira was looking to get back into title contention when he took on UFC Hall of Famer Randy Couture at UFC 102 in August of 2009.
The two legendary fighters engaged in a rollicking three-round war, which the Brazilian was dominating thanks to several knockdowns and submission attempts earned throughout the bout.
In the end, Nogueira took home the decision win as well as $400,000.
Budding middleweight contender Michael Bisping is one of the few success stories to come out of The Ultimate Fighter in recent years, and the Brit returned recently for a third stint on the show when he served as coach opposite of Jason Miller.
The duo met at the season finale this past December where Bisping dominated "Mayhem" en route to a third-round TKO victory, which nabbed "The Count" $425,000 dollars for his efforts.
Former UFC light heavyweight champion Rashad Evans was on the comeback trail towards a shot at the world title when he took on rival Quinton Jackson at UFC 114 in May of 2010.
Evans edged Jackson early with his successive takedowns and ground-and-pound blows, though, "Rampage" nearly sealed the third-round TKO victory when the Pride veteran rocked Evans in the later stages of the bout. However, the New York native survived to earn the decision win.
With the victory, Evans took home $435,000 for his main event tilt.
After going winless in his last five outings, Ortiz finally got back on track when he took on The Ultimate Fighter season eight winner Ryan Bader, who was dropped by a right hand and subsequently submitted with a guillotine choke.
The surprise "Submission of the Night" performance from the former world champion came at an opportune time in Ortiz's career, as he was likely on his way out the door should he have incurred another loss.
With the victory, Ortiz earned $450,000.
After returning from his second battle with diverticulitis, Brock Lesnar took on Strikeforce transplant Alistair Overeem, who finished off the North Dakota native with a bevy of knees, kicks and punches, earning the first-round TKO victory in the process at UFC 141.
Soon after, Lesnar announced his retirement from the sport following the decisive defeat, though, the former world champion left the MMA world with $450,000 in his pocket.
Arguably the most dominant light heavyweight champion of all time, Chuck Liddell was in a do-or-die situation at UFC 115 when he took on Rich Franklin in a 205-pound affair.
Liddell was getting the best of Franklin early, backpedaling the former champ with long jabs and straights. Just as it seemed "The Iceman" had Franklin wilting from punches, "Ace" connected on a short right hook that knocked out Liddell in the waning moments of the first round.
Suffering his third consecutive loss, Liddell later announced his retirement from the sport. The UFC Hall of Famer would take home $500,000 for his final bout.