Despite losing UFC heavyweight gold in 2010, former champ Brock Lesnar was mixed martial arts’ highest paid athlete last year. ESPN has released a ‘Best Paid’ list for the top earners across 30 major sports. According to ‘The worldwide leader in sports,’ Lesnar pocketed $5.3 million for his two Octagon outings in 2010.
The report excluded endorsements deals, sponsorship dollars, appearances fees, etc. ESPN gauged Lesnar’s income off ‘Estimated Prize Money, PPV share.’
Lesnar earned a flat $400,000 for his UFC 116 victory over Shane Carwin and another $400K for his UFC 121 loss to Cain Velasquez. He also took home a $75,000 ‘Submission of the Night’ bonus for tapping out Carwin.
That means, Lesnar earned roughly $4.425 million in pay-per-view dollars last year. The UFC is not required to release the PPV commissions they offer to select superstars, so this report was a nice roundabout way to obtain that information.
Both cards Lesnar appeared in were promoted by the UFC as the biggest events of 2010.
Lesnar returns to action against Junior Dos Santos at UFC 131 on June 11th. That show is expected to be another box office hit.
FYI – Boxing’s Manny Pacquiao took home $32 million last year. He shared the #1 spot with Alex Rodriguez, who earned the same amount from the New York Yankees.
Joey Chestnut also engulfed $218,500 in Major League Eating earnings.