ESPN 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.
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.”
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.
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.
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