Does boxing pay more than MMA?

Why Boxers Get Paid More Than MMA Fighters? (Explained)

Why do the best boxing athletes make more money than the MMA fighters who are also at the top?

The reason boxers make more than MMA fighters is that they are not part of any fighting organization. They can negotiate their own terms and sponsors for the fights, and there are fewer middlemen taking their cuts.

Of course, it depends a lot on the skill and level of the fighter, but speaking about the top 1%, this is the main reason.

Let’s take a deeper look into the different reasons for that pay gap.

Why do professional boxers earn more than professional MMA fighters?

There are a lot of different factors that determine, how much a fighter gets paid from a fight.

If we look at the best of the best, the main reason why boxing athletes are making more money is that they are not part of any organization. This means they can get their own sponsors and negotiate their own deals.

Whereas MMA fighters are typically prohibited from making their own sponsorship deals and have more middlemen in the organization to take their cuts.

Boxing has also been around for much longer and the advertising around the sport has had a lot more time to evolve and become effective. Due to the movies such as Rocky, boxing has also been really popular for a longer period of time.

In short, boxers are like their own business entities, whereas MMA fighters are working for other entities.

Is boxing more popular than MMA?

When it comes to a popularity contest between boxing and MMA, the two are pretty even.

Even though boxing has been around for much longer than MMA, when looking at the top PPV or pay-per-view numbers, the top matches in both had around 1,5 million in 2021.

Here are the PPV stats for boxing in 2021.

Here are the PPV stats for MMA in 2021.

Judging from the PPV stats of the top matches, we could say boxing and MMA are pretty even when it comes to popularity.

Therefore, the popularity of boxing over MMA is not the reason why top boxing athletes are getting paid more.

Boxing vs MMA payouts for amateurs

So far, we have mainly discussed the pay gap between boxers and MMA fighters are the best of the best. People that are in the top 0.01%.

In the top leagues, the pay gap is a lot bigger than in the lesser-known fights. It is important to keep in mind that very few people will ever get super rich from fighting, and the amount of people who get paid to fight is also really small.

Therefore, if you are looking forward to becoming a fighter, it doesn’t really matter which one you start from a financial standpoint. Most people are not going to get paid to fight anyway.

I am not saying that to discourage you, but it is the reality.

If you are going to become the next boxing or MMA champion, it doesn’t really matter which one you become the best at. Even though the best MMA fighters do get paid less than boxers, you can still make a good living out of fighting.

Does boxing pay better than MMA?

If you become one of the best fighters in the world, boxing does pay better than MMA. This is because boxers can make their own sponsorship deals and have fewer middlemen, compared to MMA organizations.

The pay gap is there only when talking about the best of the best fighters. It is much smaller when it comes to semi-pro fighters who barely make a dime out of fighting.

Final thoughts

In conclusion, boxers do get paid more because they have the freedom to make their own sponsorships and they are not tied to a single organization.

There are simply fewer middlemen when it comes to boxing, therefore, the fighters cut is bigger.

This is mostly true for the best of the best fighters out there. As a casual MMA or boxing hobbyist, you probably don’t have to worry about the pay gap and switch to boxing because of this.

Read also: Why MMA fighters keep punching after knockout

Hopefully this was helpful, have a wonderful day!

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