During an unprecedented time when there are a bevy of fighters on the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) roster voicing their disgust with their compensation, including top stars Jon Jones and Jorge Masvidal, there are a select few fighters who are doing just fine.
According to a recent report by Forbes (via Bloody Elbow), current Lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov, earned $16.5 million from 2019 to 2020, making him one of the most successful Russian celebrities under the age of 40.
Khabib, 31, didn’t just make bank fighting inside the Octagon, with Forbes revealing that “The Eagle” made much his money outside of the cage thanks to several lucrative sponsorships with Reebok and Toyota, among others. He also reportedly gets paid around $78,000 for speaking obligations. Reports had Khabib making $6 million for his successful title defense against Dustin Poirier at UFC 242 in Nov. 2019.
If you are surprised to hear that someone else other than Conor McGregor can rake in that kind of dough, you shouldn’t be, as Nurmagomedov has the entire country or Russia behind him. The only difference is “The Eagle” isn’t exactly known for gloating about his riches, which is why most of us never knew he commanded this kind of annual income outside of his UFC salary.
Nurmagomedov is in line to earn another huge payday later this year once the promotion locks down a date and location for his title unification fight against current interim Lightweight champion, Justin Gaethje.