UFC 81 Fighters Salaries: Paydays for Brock Lesnar, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, Tim Sylvia and More


Brock LesnarDespite suffering a first-round submission loss to Frank Mir on Saturday, Brock Lesnar collected a cool quarter-of-a-million dollars in his UFC debut.

The former NCAA Division I national wrestling champion and World Wrestling Entertainment performer was the highest-paid fighter at UFC 81, according to paperwork acquired by MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) from the Nevada State Athletic Commission.

UFC 81 took place at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas and aired live on pay-per-view.

Mir earned a base salary of $80,00 for the fight — which was the fourth-highest behind Lesnar and main-event fighters Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira ($200,000) and Tim Sylvia ($100,000).

The total disclosed payroll for the event was $892,000.

The full list of salaries included:


  • Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira ($200,000) def. Tim Sylvia ($100,000)
  • Frank Mir ($80,000) def. Brock Lesnar ($250,000)
  • Nate Marquardt ($52,000) def. Jeremy Horn ($25,000)
  • Ricardo Almeida ($40,000) def. Rob Yundt ($5,000)
  • Tyson Griffin ($36,000) def. Gleison Tibau ($11,000)
  • Chris Lytle ($24,000) def. Kyle Bradley ($4,O00)
  • Tim Boetsch ($12,000) def. David Heath ($6,000)
  • Marvin Eastman ($14,000) def. Terry Martin ($12,000)
  • Rob Emerson ($16,000) def. Keita Nakamura ($5,000)

All the winning fighters received pay that awarded 50 percent “to show” and 50 percent as a “win bonus” — except for Lesnar, who would have earned a $200,000 win bonus.

Now, the usual disclaimer: the figures do not include deductions for items such as insurance, licenses and taxes. Additionally, the figures do not include money paid by sponsors, which can oftentimes be a substantial portion of a fighter’s income. They also do not include any other “locker-room” or special bonuses the UFC oftentimes pays.

In other words, these are simply base salaries reported to the NSAC and do not represent the total amounts earned by each fighter.

For complete coverage of the event, including the list of winners for fight-night bonuses, be sure to check out MMAjunkie.com’s UFC 81 archives.

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