The women of the fighting world are breaking the glass ceiling on both recognition and pay in the last year, with some of the highest victory purses ever seen. We’ve recently celebrated lucrative victories with female UFC stars like Amanda Nunes and Paige VanZant making the big time and guest appearances on the hottest TV shows. But one of the most important advancements in the industry to date is the increasing pay for female fighters.
Salary and fight purses have always lagged behind for the female fighters, with male fighters sometimes earning three times or more the standard highest pay offered to the ladies.
While some like VanZant have decried this as blatantly biased, we’re also seeing some amazing progress in the industry from promotion and commercial success alone. This is best displayed in the incredibly lucrative victory of Katie Taylor last October winning nearly $100,000 for a single match-up against in her legendary victory against Cindy Serrano.
Here are some female fighters that are proving women can make just as much money as men in the fighting world.
A pugilist from Bray, Ireland, Katie Taylor is now the world’s most highly paid female fighter, with earnings that topped a $1 million in 2018.
She topped that historic number with a fantastic victory against Cindy Serrano, a renowned Puerto Rican female boxer nicknamed “Checkmate.” Both Taylor and Serrano are lightweight boxers with an orthodox stance, but Taylor brought something really special to the ring.
Taylor is known for her no-nonsense, no trash-talk style and fights like a woman possessed the moment the round begins. Her energy and her promoter Eddie Hearn of Matchroom have both been credited with her recent incredible rise to the top of the pay scale for female fighters.
As of June of this year, Katie brought in her first seven-figure fight purse and was declared officially the highest-paid women’s boxing champion in history, making the sport and her home country of Ireland proud.
Another legendary female fighter rocking the ring today is Amanda Nunes, nicknamed “The Lioness”. She was the highest-paid fighter at the recent UFC 239 event in Las Vegas. The Bantamweight defeated her the former champion Holly Holm within four minutes and ten seconds of the first round, with Holm herself quoting the fight as a “nightmare.”
For Nunes, the payday was the real dream come true as she came away with the biggest purse of the night. Nunes was awarded $300,000 just to fight and her victory earned her an additional $200,000 on top of that, plus a bonus $50,000 for giving the “Performance of the Night.”
While Nunes’ pay for only a single night’s fighting is still about half of where Taylor is trailblazing, she is clearly the champion of the hour.
Chris Cyborg is one of the most dominant fighters the UFC has ever seen. She has the most wins of any fighter in the featherweight division. Cyborg boasts a career fight record of 21 wins with only two losses. She’s only lost once in the UFC.
In 2018 alone, she reportedly made a little over $1 million dollars from fighting. Not a bad haul for this exciting fighter. She’ll look to continue her earning in a new fighting league, however.
Recently, Cris Cyborg announced she would be fighting for Bellator MMA. Her contract with the UFC had ended and Cyborg was ready for a change. Keep an eye on her in the new league and expect her to remain one of the highest-paid female fighters in the world.