MMAPayout published their 2009 Power rankings today, revealing which UFC fighters brought home the most bacon for their organization.
It should come as no surprise that Brock Lesnar tops the list. The heavyweight champion was credited with bringing in over $112 million in gross PPV revenue over a two-year period. The PPV events he was a part of were UFC 81, UFC 87, UFC 91, and the historic UFC 100.
Coming in second during 2008-2009 was lightweight champion B.J. Penn. The Prodigy was credited with bringing in over 105 million dollars in gross PPV revenue over the same span. He took part in one more event then Lesnar did, five, and those events included UFC 80, UFC 84, UFC 94, UFC 101, and most recently UFC 107.
Coming in third was former interim champion Frank Mir with over $98 million in gross PPV revenue. The events Mir took place in included UFC 81, UFC 92, UFC 100, and UFC 107.
The individual backgrounds/personalities of the two heavyweights, along with their rivalry, no doubt fueled their numbers for Lesnar/Mir—and being in the main event at UFC 100 certainly didn't hurt. Many may be more impressed with what smaller fighters like B.J. Penn and George St. Pierre were able to accomplish.
The rest of the 2008-2009 list is rounded out by:
|Georges St-Pierre||$92 million
|Forrest Griffin||$81 million
|Rashad Evans||$75 million
|Anderson Silva||$60 million
|Rich Franklin||$54 million
With mixed martial arts being such a dynamic sport, the influence of certain fighters will no doubt fluctuate. Forrest Griffin and Rich Franklin will no doubt take a hit after recent performances.
In 2008, Forrest Griffin was ranked second overall, trailing only Brock Lesnar. In 2009, Forrest dropped to tenth on the list. Will he even make crack the top 10 in 2010 after the crushing loss to Anderson Silva followed by a mediocre performance at UFC 106?
As for Franklin, he came in eleventh in 2008 and jumped up to sixth in 2009. But his time spent fighting at catchweight has certainly effected his importance in any one division, and the loss to Vitor Belfort at UFC 103 certainly didnt help his case.
Two notable entrants on the 2009 list were Lyoto Machida and Kenny Florian.
Machida's brand benefited greatly by winning the co-main event at UFC 94: St. Pierre vs. Penn in dramatic fashion, then following it up by capturing the light-heavyweight title at UFC 98, the same fight card as the grudge match between Matt Hughes and Matt Serra.
As for Florian, he was involved in fights on UFC 101 and UFC 107, which combined did over 1.6 million PPV buys.
Check out the complete article over at MMAPayout.
They give a full breakdown of both years, as well as a good explanation as to how dollars attributed to certain fighters. They also predict what 2010 might look like and list some possible new entrants.