Forbes Releases 2013 Highest-Paid Athletes List, No MMA Fighter in Top 100

Written by Tom Ngo
June 7th, 2013

UFC Georges St Pierre

According to Forbes, Tiger Woods is once again the world’s highest-paid athlete. It’s a familiar moniker the superstar golfer held from 2001-2011.

His sexual indiscretions in late 2009, followed by a public divorce, parlayed with a sliding golf game cost him the top spot in 2012. Boxer Floyd Mayweather happily picked up the baton that year ($85 million).

Speaking of “Money Mayweather,” he was combat sports’ highest earner in 2012. He came in at #14 for making a reported $34 million.

Forbes only tallies the planet’s top 100 highest-paid athletes. No mixed martial artist was able to crack the exclusive club.

The Ultimate Fighting Championship, the world’s most prestigious MMA organization, is a privately held company so their financial numbers are held under lock and key.

While the disclosed payrolls the UFC is required to submit to some athletic commissions have never reached seven-figures for a single fighter in a single event, the company does offer discretionary bonuses and pay-per-view percentages, which remain top secret, that can oftentimes represent a substantial portion of a fighter’s total income.

Nonetheless, it’s hard to imagine any of the UFC’s superstars would have earned at least $16.4 million last year. That was the amount soccer stud Samuel Eto’o made to score the last peg on Forbes’ totem pole.

Reigning UFC welterweight king Georges St-Pierre (pictured), the promotion’s top PPV draw, only fought once in 2012. It has been previously reported he earns anywhere from $4-$6 million each time he takes the Octagon.

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