Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) is what most people refer to as ‘cage fighting,’ where two competitors in a ring have to fight to gain dominance over the other. It is an intense combat sport, where the weight or height of a competitor does not guarantee wins, except he includes special tactics. The rules of MMA allows the use of martial arts techniques, which include; punches, kicks, throws, takedowns, chokes and so much more.
After these numerous displays of techniques and muscles from the MMA fighters, any of the competitors would gain victory from the submission of the other, this means; the fighter who has received a bone-cracking takedown would tap the mat with his hand.
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The Top 10 Richest MMA Fighters and Their Net worth
Since everyone wants to win, and some have no worries with the techniques used to win, they go as far as hair-pulling, choking their competition with their cloth, biting, eye-gouging, striking the opponent’s groins, strikes to the back of the head and sticking fingers in the opponent’s orifices, which we believe is just the height of it all. MMA now has rules against all of these spectacular displays, and the only way to win is through your passion and years of training.
In this article, you will learn about the top 10 highest MMA fighters and how they worked hard on their strength and punches to get to where they are now. These fighters have not just made combat the center of their life, they have gathered wealth and fame from their choice of career.
1. Conor McGregor
Conor Anthony McGregor is an Irish mixed martial artist, who ranked the World’s Highest-Paid Athlete by Forbes in 2021, with an income of $180 million. He also ranked #9 in the lightweight Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), and was the former UFC featherweight champion. Although McGregor was defeated by Mayweather in his debut boxing match, he got 4.3 million pay-per-view (PPV) buys from North America, talk about turning tides. He has 22 wins in MMA and a brown belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
Conor McGregor was born on July 14, 1988, in Crumlin, Dublin, and attended Irish-language speaking schools. While in school, he had the passion for sports, and that passion led him to play football for Lourdes Celtic Football Club. McGregor got bullied in school often, but boxing created a means of defense from school bullies. He began boxing at age 12, and later on met UFC fighter Tom Egar in Lucan, and together they trained mixed martial arts.
McGregor is currently not married, but has three children with Dee Devlin. He is known as a striker with a boxing style and engages in ‘trash talk’ and ‘psychological warfare’ against his opponents, and that earned him the nickname ‘The Notorious.’ In 2007, McGregor became a professional MMA fighter and got signed by the Irish Cage of Truth promotion. In 2008, McGregor started training under John Kavanagh, and in that same year, he got his first professional MMA bout.
McGregor has endorsement deals with Beats by Dre, Monster Energy, Reebok, Burger King and Bud Light, and has earned numerous championships and achievements, such as; Fighter of the Year, Hottest Sex Symbols, MMA Most Valuable. Conor McGregor currently has a net worth of $200 million.
2. Rorion Gracie
Rorion Gracie is a Brazilian martial artist, who is not just the co-founder of the UFC, he is a man of many talents, being a writer, publisher, producer and also lecturer. His fighting style is Gracie Jiu-Jitsu; a martial art and combat sport based on ground fighting and powerful submission holds. He holds a 9th-degree red belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and is popularly known as the man who introduced Brazilian/Gracie Jiu-Jitsu to the world.
Rorion Gracie was born on January 10, 1952, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He became a Grand Master of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu by following in his father’s footsteps. He attended the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, graduating with a degree in Law. He is married to Silvia Gracie, and interestingly, he has eleven children.
Rorion began the spread of Jiu-Jitsu by giving invitations to people to try out sports in his garage. He taught them his father’s techniques with the hope that it would be useful if they needed to defend themselves. With the unquenchable desire to make Jiu-Jitsu more accessible, he opened an online academy, ‘Gracie University.’ In all his works, Rorion demonstrated that Gracie Jiu-Jitsu would give a chance of defeating a larger, more athletic adversary. He taught Gracie Jiu-Jitsu to US Special Operations Forces, conventional US military units and the CIA. He currently has a net worth of $50 million.
3. Khabib Nurmagomedov
Khabib Abdulmanapovich Nurmagomedov is a Russian former professional mixed martial artist, who retired with an undefeated record of 29 wins and no losses. He is now an MMA coach and cornerman, and his undefeated image earned him the nickname, ‘The Eagle.’ Khabib was born on September 20, 1988, in Sildi, Soviet Union.
His interest in wrestling began when he watched students train at a gym, created by his father. Khabib started wrestling at a young age and even wrestled with a bear when he was nine years old while being trained by his father, Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov, a veteran of the Soviet Army.
Khabib is the second-most popular Muslim athlete in the world, and he is married to Patimat and has three children. In September 2008, Khabib made his first professional MMA debut September 2008 and had four wins in a month. On October 11th, he became the inaugural Atrium Cup tournament champion, and he remained undefeated for three whole years.
Khabib’s fighting style is wrestling, and he uses it to force his opponents against the cage. Throughout his career, nineteen of his twenty-nine victories had come by way of either takedowns or submission. He has a lot of championships and accomplishments, such as; The Longest-reigning UFC Lightweight Champion, MMA Most Valuable. He currently has a net worth of $40 million.
4. Georges St-Pierre
Georges St-Pierre is a Canadian former professional mixed martial artist, who has numerous wins in the welterweight and middleweight division. He is the undisputed UFC welterweight champion and has won it three times, he was also ranked as the number one welterweight in the world, for years.
Georges St-Pierre was born on May 19, 1981, Saint-Isidore, Montérégie, Quebec, Canada. He enjoyed sports from his childhood and learnt Kyokushin Karate from his father, so he could defend himself against school bullies. He also learnt wrestling, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and boxing, when he was 16 years old. His childhood gave birth to the idea of creating a foundation for children being bullied, ‘The GSP Foundation.’ The handsome former professional MMA fighter is currently single but has been in two different relationships.
Georges St-Pierre has a third-degree black belt in Kyokushin Karate and a first-degree black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. His fighting style has earned him the nickname, ‘Rush.’ He has won numerous championships and accomplishments, such as; Most Dangerous Man of the Year, MMA Most Valuable Fighter. Georges St-Pierre currently has a net worth of $30 million.
5. Brock Lesnar
Brock Edward Lesnar is one of the popular names that ring a bell, he is an American-Canadian former professional mixed martial artist, also signed as a wrestler to WWE. Brock Lesnar was born on July 12, 1977, in Webster, South Dakota, United States. He competed in amateur wrestling in high school and had third place in the states championship. Lesnar is married to Rena Greek, a wrestler, and together they have two sons.
Lesnar became a MMA fighter in 2007, and had his first show against Hong-man Choi of South Korea. His fighting style earned him the nickname, ‘The Beast.’ He has a blue belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and got into Guinness World Records as ‘The Youngest Person to Win the WWE Championship,’ he also has numerous accomplishments such as; MMA Most Valuable, Most Hated Wrestler of the Year. Brock Lesnar currently has a net worth of $25 million.
6. B.J Penn
Jay Dee Penn III is an American mixed martial artist and a practitioner of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. He is regarded as one of the best competitors in the UFC’s history and was the first American Gold medalist of the World Jiu-Jitsu Championship. In MMA, he has competed in the Featherweight, Lightweight, Welterweight, Middleweight, and Heavyweight divisions.
B.J Penn was born on December 13, 1978, in Hawaii. His neighbour Tom Callos, introduced him to Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu at the age of 17 and became his trainer. Who would believe the fighter’s nickname, B.J, was coined from another nickname, Baby Jay? The MMA fighter has never been married, but he has two daughters from the same woman.
Penn began training Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu under Ralph Gracie, in 1997 and earned his purple belt from Gracie. Three years later, he earned his black belt from Andre Pederneiras, which made him the first non-Brazilian to win the black-belt division of the World Jiu-Jitsu Championship. Penn earned his nickname, ‘The Prodigy,’ from competing in mixed martial arts and winning the black belt division in the World Jiu-Jitsu Championship. He currently has a net worth of $22 million.
7. Tito Ortiz
Jacob Christopher Ortiz is an American mixed martial artist and a politician, he is a former Heavyweight Champion, and he is the CEO of Punishment Athletics MMA equipment and clothing line, which is located in Huntington Beach, California. On November 5, 2020, Ortiz became Mayor of Huntington Beach, California. He was sworn into office on December 7, 2020, then resigned from the city council on June 1, 2021.
Jacob Christopher Ortiz was born on January 23, 1975, in Huntington Beach, California, United States. He started wrestling at age 19, and trained with UFC Fighter, ‘ Tank Abbott,’ he had his first MMA debut in 1997, while in college. Even though Ortiz has a son with Kristin, and twins (two cute boys) with Jenna Jameson, he is currently in a relationship with Amber Nichole Miller.
He has numerous championships and accomplishments in UFC, and he currently has a net worth of $20 million.
8. Fedor Emelianeko
Fedor Vladimirovich Emelianenko is a Russian MMA fighter, with Sambo and Judo as his fighting style. He has a bronze medal and was a heavyweight champion in MMA for four years. He began his MMA career with four straight victories and currently has 40 wins. Emelianenko is currently a staff member of Russia’s Presidential Council on Physical Fitness & Sports.
Fedor Emelianeko was born on September 28, 1976, in Rubizhne, Luhansk Oblast, Ukrainian. He started practising Sambo and Judo under Vasily Ivanovich Gavrilov. In 1994, he graduated with honours from a professional trade school as an electrician, then served in the Russian Army as a Military Firefighter. He also became part of the Russian national team, then left the team because money was needed. He finally came to a decision to compete professionally in MMA.
Emelianeko is currently married to Oksana, after divorcing her in 2006, he has three children, and currently has a net worth of $18 million.
9. Wandelei Silva
Wanderlei César da Silva is a Brazilian-American mixed martial artist, who has competed in Japan’s Pride Fighting Championships and the American-based UFC. Silva has records for the most wins, knockouts, title defences and longest winning streak.
Wandelei Silva was born July 3, 1976, in Curitiba, Brazil. He learnt street bawling at the age of 13, in Chute Boxe Academy. Silva has two children, each from a different woman. He has a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and his fighting style is Muay Thai. His offensive striking skills, such as; hooks, knee strikes, and kicks earned him the nickname, ‘The Axe Murderer.’ Silva currently has a net worth of $18 million.
10. Randall Couture
Randall Duane Couture is an American former professional mixed martial artist, a former U.S. Army sergeant, wrestler and actor. He has most wins in UFC Heavyweight Championship bouts and is the oldest champion in MMA history with his title victory over Tim Sylvia at age 43.
Couture was born on June 22, 1963, in Everett, Washington, United States. He wrestled in middle school and finally won a State Championship in wrestling during his senior year. He served in the U.S. Army, and even attained the rank of ‘Sergeant.’ Couture has tried out numerous relationships, but none seems to be working, he is presently not dating anyone, but has three children.
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Couture made his professional MMA debut in 1997, his fighting style; wrestling has earned him the name, ‘The Natural,’ as his flows and punches towards his opponents, appears truly natural. Couture is one of the oldest fighters to have won a UFC championship, and he currently has a net worth of $17 million.
These MMA fighters went through years of intense training, trying to study and understand their strengths and weaknesses. Although some have had controversies and legal issues; some true, some exaggerated, and some had a terrible childhood with bullies, it did not stop them from wanting to be at the top.