Most Expensive Fights in MMA History

Most Expensive Fights in MMA History


Fight of the Century - Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao

The ‘Fight of the Century’ is the most money-spinning fight to ever take place, at least for now. The 2015 fight profited off the hopes and expectations of fight fans who had long wanted a match-up between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao. However such was the anticipation the pair were able to sell 4.6m pay-per-view subscriptions and tickets for the public started at $1,500 for the MGM Grand Garden Arena.

  • PPV: £333million
  • Gate: £58.7m
  • Mayweather’s purse: £223.5m
  • Pacquiao’s purse: £122m
  • Total: £678m

Lennox Lewis VS Mike Tyson - 2002

Tyson hung on to fight Britain’s Lennox Lewis in 2002, with Lewis the undisputed heavyweight champion. His class told, as he won in round eight. The victory might have been routine for Lewis in the end, but the earnings were exceptional. 15,000 seats were sold at the Pyramid Arena in Memphis, Tennessee, though it couldn’t match Tyson’s rematch against Holyfield.

  • PPV: £90m
  • Gate: £14.2m
  • Lewis: £14.2m
  • Tyson: £14.2m
  • Total: £132.6m

Floyd Mayweather VS Conor Mcgregor - AUGUST 2017

Called ‘The Money Fight’ once it was announced, it is no surprise to see that Mayweather appears again in this list, for his fight with Conor McGregor at the T-Mobile Arena in Paradise, Nevada. The Irishman moved across from UFC for the occasion, and allowed Mayweather to conclude his professional career with a 50th win, coming at something of a canter.

Mayweather continues to tease a return to the ring, at least for an exhibition, and given the sums he made it is no surprise.

  • PPV: £325m
  • Gate:  £44m
  • Mayweather’s purse: £223.5m
  • McGregor’s purse: £70m
  • Total: £662.5m


Conor McGregor v Nate Diaz — 1.5 million PPV buys

Conor McGregor had already won UFC world titles at featherweight and lightweight. Here, he went up another division to take on Nate Diaz at welterweight. The weight class was one jump too many as Diaz submitted him with a rear naked choke in the second round.

UFC 196. March 5, 2016, at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.

  • PPV: £1.25m
  • Gate:  £44m
  • Mayweather’s purse: £223.5m
  • McGregor’s purse: £70m
  • Total: £662.5m

Floyd Mayweather vs. Oscar De La Hoya

The next three fights on this list all feature Floyd Mayweather, who is number one among the riches boxers in the world. Mayweather faced Oscar De La Hoya at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in May 2007. At the time, Mayweather was the underdog. It was this fight that put him on everyone's radar after he won and earned the WBC super welterweight title. Counting the gate proceeds, PPV, and Mayweather's and De La Hoya's purses, the fight totaled £187 million.


Floyd Mayweather vs. Canelo Alvarez

The fight between Floyd Mayweather vs. Canelo Alvarez in September 2013 was yet another win for Mayweather. Unsurprisingly, it also took place at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. It was one of Mayweather's most spectacular wins, and it made him about £60 million (against Alvarez's modest £10 million). Together with the gate proceeds (£20 million) and PPV (£120 million), the fight totaled more than £214 million. 


UFC 202 – Nate Diaz vs Conor McGregor

Nate Diaz and McGregor battled out a bloody contest that went the distance before Conor took the bout by decision. The five rounds saw both fighters land numerous blows, combinations and knockdowns. McGregor dominated the first two rounds and by the end had knocked down Diaz three times before being judged the winner. The rematch between the two captured 1.6m buys that helped affirm UFC as an action-packed sport in 2016.


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