$16 Million-Dollar Man?

UFC 249 Khabib v Ferguson: Press Conference

Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC

In a time where there is a bevy of fighters on the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) roster voicing their disgust with their pay, including top stars Jon Jones and Jorge Masvidal, their are certain — albeit very few — fighters that are just doing just fine.

According to a recent report by Forbes (via Bloody Elbow), current Lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov, earned $16.5 million from 2019 to 2020, making him one of the most successful Russian celebrities under the age of 40.

Khabib (31) didn’t just make his bank fighting inside the Octagon, as Forbes reveals that “The Eagle” made a lot of his money outside of the cage thanks to several lucrative sponsors with Reebok and Toyota, among others. He also reportedly gets paid around $78,000 for speaking obligations. Reports had Khabib making $6 million for his successful title defense against Dustin Poirier at UFC 242 in November of 2019.

“You eat what you kill.”

If you are surprised to hear that someone else other than Conor McGregor can rake in that kind of dough, you shouldn’t be, as Nurmagomedov has the entire country or Russia behind him. The only difference is “The Eagle” isn’t exactly known for gloating about his riches, which is why most of us never knew he commanded this kind of dough, outside of his UFC salary.

Nurmagomedov is in line to earn another huge payday later this year once the promotion locks down a date and location for his title unification fight against current interim champion, Justin Gaethje.