How Much Do Amateur MMA Fighters Make? | Explained

In this page we will explain how much money Amateur MMA fighters make, how they can make that money, and how much they can expect to make when they turn pro.

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How Much Do Amateur MMA Fighters Make?

Typically Amateur MMA athletes make no money in sports. However, in MMA amateurs make no money for actually competing, but they can earn a percentage of money from their ticket sales and sponsor.

twenty dollar bills

If you've ever stepped into a MMA gym, you'll notice that other than showing support for their teammate, this is why amateur fighters promote their fight at their own gym.

Although they are amateur fighters, they will be able to earn some type of money for competing.

Getting prepared for an amateur MMA fight is still very costly as it includes:

  • Having a MMA Training Camp
  • Eating Healthy Food
  • Paying Gym Fees
  • Taking Care of Injuries

Although amateur MMA fighters don't get paid for the competition portion, they can also obtain sponsors and get paid by them.

Initial Pay When Turning Pro

Even when MMA fighters finally receive the opportunity to become professionals, many find themselves still having a second job in the meantime.

Whether it's being an instructor at their gym, or just a 'Normal' second job, this is the harsh reality they must face until their pay increases sufficiently after winning.

Aljamain Sterling recently explained his initial pay when he signed to the UFC:

I came into the UFC at eight and eight, $8,000 to win, $8,000 to show. So if step on the scale, I show up, and I step into the octagon, I make $8,000. Before taxes, before expenses, just to get to the fight, travel expenses, all that, food, equipment, we’re not talking about any of that included. Then I make another $8,000 if I win. Now, minus pay for coaches... five percent to [coach] Ray [Longo], five percent to [coach] Matt [Serra], 10 percent to management, then I pay taxes on whatever’s left, what I keep. ... My second fight is 10 and 10, my third fight is 12 and 12, the last fight on my contract is 14 and 14.