If you thought Brock Lesnar was the highest-paid fight in mixed martial arts, you would be correct. ESPN has released their list of the top paid athletes in a variety of sports including football, basketball, baseball, bowling, billiards and even professional dog sled racing (there’s not a lot of money in dog sled racing by the way). MMA was included on the list, and not surprisingly, former UFC heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar took the top spot with an estimated $5.3 million in purse money and pay-per-view bonuses in 2010. It’s noted that the figure excludes endorsements, appearance fees, sponsorship money and other sources of income so it’s very likely Brock made significantly more.
It’s a lot of money for our still growing sport, but it pales in comparison to what the top pro athletes in the major sports made. For instance, Alex Rodriguez made $32,000,000 for fielding grounders and hitting home runs. Manny Pacquiao made an estimated $32,000,000 for punching Joshua Clottey and Antonio Margarito in the face. Kimi Raikkonen made $26,333,333 for driving a rally car on dirt roads at asinine speeds. Kobe Bryant made $24,800,000 for shooting a ball through a hoop. And Peyton Manning made $15,800,000 for throwing touchdowns.
Still, as wide of a gap as that is, Brock wasn’t the lowest paid pro athlete on the list either, not by a long shot. In fact, we was pretty close to the average: $5,547,360. Here’s a little sampling of those he smoked.
- Beach Volleyball (Men): Philip Dalhausser/Todd Rogers – $387,700
- Bowling (Men): Walter Ray Williams Jr. – $152,670
- Darts: Phil Taylor – $1,044,000
- Fishing: Kevin Vandam – $915,500
- Golf (Women): Na Yeon Choi – $1,871,165
- Sled Dog: John Baker – $50,400
- Squash: Nick Matthew – $166,926
Woohoo! We beat darts! And women’s golf!