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Brock Lesnar Named Highest Paid UFC Star In 2010

Brock Lesnar was named the highest paid MMA star of 2010ESPN The Magazine published a report on the 2010 highest paid athletes of each individual sport. Former WWE and UFC champion Brock Lesnar makes the list as the highest paid MMA fighter at $5.3 million. I think it’s safe to say that Brock won’t be begging Vince McMahon to take him back anytime soon.

The report claims that Lesnar made $5.3 million in 2010 for his fights against Shane Carwin and Cain Velasquez. Lesnar fought a combined 11:31 seconds between both fights (7:19 against Carwin, 4:12 against Velasquez). That would give Lesnar a cool average of about $480,000 a minute. That sure isn’t bad work if you can get it.

Brock Lesnar continues to be one of the most polarizing figures in MMA. This news certainly won’t endear him to an MMA audience that already believes he is an overpaid and over-hyped promotional machine. True or not, you can’t fault Brock for making the money. If he wasn’t winning, he wouldn’t be drawing, and somebody else would have made more money than him in the UFC.

Keep in mind that the $5.3 million only includes fight salary and bonuses. The figure doesn’t account for sponsorships, endorsements, etc. MMAfighting.com did their own research using a formula that UFC released to the public in 2007 and actually found a few more pennies in Lesnar’s 2010 piggy bank.

“Using the formula the UFC released at the time, Lesnar would have made just less than $2.5 million for UFC 121, and just over $2.8 million for UFC 116 just in pay-per-view bonuses. Add in his $400,000 base salary for each event, as well as a $75,000 Submission of the Night bonus for his win over Carwin, and Lesnar pulled in $6,170,000, according to MMA Fighting estimates.”

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Where does Brock Lesnar rank with other great sporting stars? According to the report, Lesnar’s $5.9 million puts him right in the middle of the top 30 highest paid athletes of 2010. Boxer Manny Pacquiao and MLB superstar Alex Rodriguez top the list at $32,000,000 per year.

It just goes to show you that at the end of the day Mixed Martial Arts is just as much about sports entertainment as it is pure sport. By all rights Anderson Silva or Georges St. Pierre should have been the highest UFC earners of 2010. Instead you have a fighter that hardcore MMA fans don’t even consider to be top three in his division who in reality is outdrawing the best in the sport. Lesnar’s pro wrestling fame surely doesn’t hurt either when it comes time to promote his fights.

The story also makes a report late last year about Brock Lesnar leaving the UFC for the WWE even more ludicrous than I thought it was the first time I heard it. Multiple websites misquoted MMA writer Dave Meltzer and reported that Brock was looking to go back to pro wrestling. Lesnar quickly shot down those rumors. I can’t imagine Brock Lesnar trading in that kind of money to leave home twice a year for a few days of work in exchange to being on the road 200 days a year for a lot less.

Brock Lesnar’s autobiography – Death Clutch: My Story of Determination, Domination, and Survival

Brock Lesnar UFC 116 Walkout T-shirt – Death Clutch

WWE – Brock Lesnar – Here Comes the Pain DVD

UFC shirts and videos on Amazon.com

UFC Store: Free Shipping on orders over $50 – No Code Needed


Eric G.

Eric is the owner and editor-in-chief of the Camel Clutch Blog. Eric has worked in the pro wrestling industry since 1995 as a ring announcer in ECW and a commentator/host on television, PPV, and home video. Eric also hosted Pro Wrestling Radio on terrestrial radio from 1998-2009. Check out some of Eric's work on his IMDB bio and Wikipedia. Eric has an MBA from Temple University's Fox School of Business.

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