UFC 129: Is Georges St-Pierre Still the Highest Paid Fighter in the UFC?
For those Bleacher Report loyalists, you may remember a piece last year when I broke down the highest paid fighters in the UFC in 2009.
Well, now it's 2011, the figures are all over the place, so it's time to find out which fighters were ballin' in 2010. If you want to check out all the math that goes in to creating these figures, check out the article breaking down 2009.
The figures contain herein are based on disclosed pay from the athletic commissions, various bonuses, and pay-per-view revenue sharing based on a document that was disclosed during the UFC vs Couture lawsuit. They do not factor in any sponsorship or locker room money that the fighters may receive.
While these pay figures are not going to be spot on given the fact there are many unknowns, it still should be a pretty good gauge of who the phat cats in the UFC are. If anything, it's fun to ponder and debate.
According to the figures I came up with last year, Georges St. Pierre was the highest paid fighter in the UFC, making an estimated $6.7 million.
Enough of me, let's get this show on the road.
Just Outside the Millionaire's Club: Michael Bisping
Mark Kolbe/Getty Images
Events he headlined headlined: UFC 120
Estimated pay-per-view buys: None. The lone card Bisping headlined was shown on Spike TV.
Spitsping...er, Bisping was close to being a millionaire by raking in $885,000. With sponsorship and other various money, he probably topped a million.
Maybe he could use some of that money to buy a little class.
Probable Other Millionaires: Lyoto Machida and B.J. Penn
Lyoto Machida headlined UFC 113 and UFC 123 in 2010.
Both events brought in very good numbers, but reports of Machida's net worth brings questions as to whether he made seven digits.
For more on Penn, go to BJPenn.com.
7: Randy Couture
Events he headlined: UFC 109
Estimated pay-per-view buys generated: 275,000
Taking on Mark Coleman at UFC 109 and James Toney at 118 made Couture a nice $1.03 million.
Not only did he make a nice chunk of change, but he also saved all MMA fans from being ridiculed by boxing fans all over the world.
Go Captain America!
6: Chuck Liddell
Events he headlined: UFC 115
Estimated pay-per-view buys generated: 460,000
Liddell's last hoo-rah in the UFC made him around $1.04 million. From the photo, I believe it is safe to say that MMA fans are glad that Liddell hung up the gloves for good.
But don't think for one second he's going to be hurting for money.
After his retirement, he was appointed a nice corporate job with Zuffa. I think he is the head of after-fight parties or something like that.
5: Rashad Evans
Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images
Events he headlined: UFC 108, UFC 114
Estimated pay-per-view buys generated: 1.19 million
While his bout against Thiago Silva only generated around 260,000 pay-per-view buys, his much anticipated match against Quinton Jackson came in fourth in 2010, drawing 925,000 buys.
This led to Evans making around $1.87 million.
With a bout against MMA's new golden boy Jon Jones for the UFC light heavyweight title looming, one has to believe that they'll both make some huge bank when that fight finally goes down.
4: Quinton "Rampage" Jackson
Noel Vasquez/Getty Images
Events he headlined: UFC 114, UFC 123
Estimated pay-per-view buys generated: 1.63 million
Only two other headlining fighters in 2010 were responsible for generating more event purchases than Rampage.
Not including all the money he made from his roll in the A-Team movie, Rampage clocked in around $2.1 million.
While it doesn't seem like he will be headlining any cards this year, Jackson might have one last title run in him before it becomes time for him to ride off in to the sunset.
3: Anderson Silva
Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images
Events he headlined: UFC 112, UFC 117
Estimated pay-per-view buys generated: 1.1 milion
Despite his abortion of a fight against Demian Maia and near loss to Chael Sonnen, "The Spider" remained one of the most popular and highest paid fighters in the UFC.
Silva barely edged out Rampage Jackson as he made $2.13 million.
Hopefully, if the stars align just right, we will get to see the fight between Silva and Georges St-Pierre before year's end.
That card would more than likely be the most bought event ever, and make both fighters rich.
2: Georges St-Pierre
Events he headlined: UFC 111, UFC 124
Estimated pay-per-view buys generated: 1.72 million
Last year's No. 1 falls one spot this year. T
his could be attributed to the fact he didn't get a huge chunk of the pay-per-view bonus in 2009 due to the massive buys UFC 100 generated. But he still made a ton of cash as he raked in $4.38 million.
St-Pierre upcoming bout next Saturday should draw in a huge amount of viewers. If the fight against Anderson Silva comes to fruition, he will without a doubt be the biggest baller in the UFC.
Even though he's from Canada, he's rolling in American money.
1: Brock Lesnar
Events he headlined: UFC 116, UFC 121
Estimated pay-per-view buys generated: 2.25 million
Although he is no longer the undisputed heavyweight champion, Brock Lesnar is the undisputed pay-per-view king.
Thanks to his huge drawing power, Brock tops the list this year with $5.8 million worth of checks deposited in to his bank account.
Even if Lesnar's upcoming bout against Junior dos Santos may be Brock's only fight this year, you can bet your bottom dollar that you will see him on this list next year.