THE money is improving in the UFC.
Although what MMA stars get in comparison to boxers when it comes to purses is still miles apart, the promotion's top earners did seriously well in 2020.
And, as mmabreakdown have revealed, the most well-known fighters made some serious wedge.
Who was the top earner last year? Let SunSport count you down from 10 to No 1.
10. STIPE MIOCIC, £580,000
The UFC heavyweight champion fought just once in 2020, back in August on Yas Island.
And Miocic continued to get the edge on Daniel Cormier, defeating his rival by unanimous decision at UFC 252.
For his work this year, he pocketed £580,000. Not bad for a part-time fireman.
9. ALISTAIR OVEREEEM, £610,000
The Dutch heavyweight showed his worth in the division in 2020 with two wins.
In May, he TKO'd Walt Harris in round two of their bout on ESPN.
Then in September, Augusto Sakai was defeated by a string of punches and elbows in round five at UFC Fight Night.
8. ANTHONY PETTIS, £630,000
Now formerly of the UFC (having signed a multi-fight deal with the Professional Fighters League), Pettis had a busy 2020.
The ex-lightweight champion lost to Carlos Diego Ferreira at UFC 246 by choke hold.
Then, he redeemed himself defeating Donald Cerrone by unanimous decision at UFC 249 in May.
Pettis signed off on his UFC career – defeating Alex Morono also by unanimous decision last month.
7. DEIVESON FIGUEIREDO, £640,000
The current UFC Flyweight Champion, Figueiredo won three of his four bouts in 2020.
Joseph Benavidez was TKO'd in February, while Alex Perez submitted after the Brazilian got him in a guillotine choke at UFC 255.
And in December, in the 'Fight of the Night' at UFC 256, Figueireda fought out a draw with Brandon Moreno.
6. JOSE ALDO, £660,000
A former three-time UFC featherweight champion, Aldo went on a career rebuilding mission in 2020.
He was unsuccessful in his bid for the vacant bantamweight belt at UFC 251, defeated by Petr Yan by TKO.
However, he returned to winning ways last month beating Marlon Vera by decision.
5. JUSTIN GAETHJE, £675,000
In what was the performance of the night at UFC 249, Gaethje won the interim UFC Lightweight Championship with a TKO against Tony Ferguson.
It set him up for a big pay day against Khabib Nurmagomedov.
However, Gaethje was no match for the Russian – who triangle choked him into submission in round 2 at UFC 254 in October.
4. ISRAEL ADESANYA, £880,000
The UFC Middleweight Champion still boasts an undefeated record in the competition – winning all 20 fights in his career.
In 2020, Adesanya beat Yoel Romero by decision at UFC 248.
He followed that win up with an incredible performance against Paulo Costa – knocking the Brazilian out in two rounds at UFC 253.
3. JUNIOR DOS SANTOS, £1.2M
The 36-year-old former heavyweight champ lost a lot of glory in 2020.
But he will happy with what he received financially, despite the batterings he took.
Dos Santos lost all of his three fights in 2020 – all by TKO – all in round 2. Still, £1.2million in earnings says it was worth pummellings from Curtis Blaydes, Jairzinho Rozenstruik, and Ciryl Gane.
2. CONOR MCGREGOR, £2.2M
The self-titled 'King of the UFC', Conor had to settle for second place in UFC's earnings in 2020.
Notorious returned to the Octagon after a near two-year absence – stunning Donald Cerrone in the first round of their fight at UFC 246 with a TKO from a head kick and a flurry of punches.
2021 promises to be a more eventful year for McGregor, who fights Dustin Poirier at UFC 257 on Saturday – and can expect another big pay day.
1. KHABIB NURMAGOMEDOV, £4.5M
What a way to go.
The Russian quit the UFC in 2020 undefeated as the lightweight champion, a decision that was reportedly spurred by the death of his father and nothing to fight for.
His final performance at UFC 254 in October was one of his best – forcing Justin Gaethje to tap out after getting him in a deadly triangle choke.
Will Khabib consider coming out of retirement and adding to his huge wealth in 2021?
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