When the UFC started in 1993, fighters were paid sparingly. Even the top fighters needed income from additional sources to make ends meet. Thankfully that is no longer the case. While many fighters still complain of low pay, the top stars in the business are millionaires.

The Gracie family never needed to profit directly from those early UFCs however. The family made a fortune off being able to market their Gracie Jiu-Jitsu schools, after Royce was able to show how dominant a martial art it can be from UFC 1 to UFC 5.

from Fox Sports
from Fox Sports

If fighters had been better compensated back in the sport’s pioneering days, perhaps we wouldn’t have seen fighters such as Ken Shamrock, Dan Severn and Oleg Taktarov leave for a period to search for better paying employment.

Now top-tier MMA fighters are paid like other top level athletes are. And here are the six richest MMA fighters there are.

from Fox Sports
from Fox Sports

7. Fedor Emelianenko- $15 Million

Just barely creeping onto this list is Fedor Emelianenko, whose net worth is estimated at $15 million USD. He barely edges out Tito Ortiz (similar net worth), Chuck Liddell ($13 million) and Ronda Rousey ($12 million) to grab the last spot on this list.

Fedor is still a huge draw in Russia, and evidently his last fight on Fight Pass drew a large viewership. Just this weekend Bellator announced that they have signed “the Last Emperor”, and have scheduled him to fight against Matt Mitrione at Bellator 172.

Emelianenko did not look good in his last fight against Fabio Maldonado in Russia. Despite this, the judges controversially awarded him the victory. Fedor is also signed with Rizin FC, having last fought for them on New Years Eve 2015, knocking out Singh Jaideep in the 1st round.

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Ian is a MMA writer based out of Toronto, ON Canada. An avid mixed martial arts enthusiast and passionate fan since he was born, Ian has been writing about mixed martial arts for over 5 years.