In a truly fascinating read today at Hasting’s while sifting through magazines, I came across an article in ESPN the Magazine that is reporting UFC heavyweight and former WWE Superstar Brock Lesnar made $5.3 million from fighting in 2010 alone.
Lesnar is getting paid HUGE money to crush his opponents in the cage and that’s simply because when he’s fighting on any UFC event, it’s a guaranteed lock to be a blockbuster success. The article states that in 2010, Brock Lesnar joined Mike Tyson as the only other fighter to ever have drawn over 1 million pay-per-view buys in a single fight in a calendar year. (“Iron Mike” Tyson actually did it three times in 1996.)
While Lesnar’s heavyweight annual income looks great, it pales in comparison to ANYTHING current boxing champion Manny Pacquiao made in 2010, as he took home a staggering $32 million in 2010.
By the numbers, this makes boxing look like a more lucrative sport for potential fighters to get into. By that standard, guys like Silva,Jones,Machida, and Georges St. Pierre should be making much more than Lesnar made in 2010, but here is the logic behind that. Current MMA promoters always argue that MMA has “dozens” of fighters that make over $500,000 in a calendar year, while there are “only a handful” of boxers making big money. This statement no matter how true, doesn’t take away from the fact that the revenue and gates for MMA events are equal too or superior to that of boxing…But, boxing’s promoters have the stability of an older established sport and more lucrative mainstream endorsements to commit to those fighter investments unlike MMA.