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UFC Legend Anderson Silva’s Net Worth Doesn’t Just Come From Fighting in the Octagon

The word ‘legend’ gets thrown around a lot, but it couldn’t suit anyone better than it does Anderson Silva. Say what you want about his last stretch of UFC fights, but in his prime he was a fighter that commanded Bruce Lee-like respect and looked untouchable against the best of his era. Unfortunately, in MMA, even legends often get underpaid their entire career and end up with little to show for it financially, but it’s hard to imagine this being the case for the Spider. Over the span of his career, Silva has amassed a net worth of $18 million. Here’s how he did it.

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UFC title run

Silva debuted at UFC Fight Night 5 against Chris Leben in what we grew to understand was a mismatch. For 49 seconds of work where he gave Leben what The Crippler called the worst strike of his career, Silva got paid $36,000 to show and won a $30,000 Knockout of the Night bonus. It was enough to earn him a title shot in his second fight. When he won the title, his pay was upped to $50,000 to show and he earned himself another $30,000 Knockout of the Night bonus.

Silva’s guaranteed pay stayed in the tens of thousands for his first few title defences. It wasn’t until he stepped in the cage against James Irvin at light heavyweight until Anderson got paid a flat fee of $200,000. When he went back down to middleweight to defend his title against Patrick Côté, he got paid another $200,000. Then against Leites, another $200,000. He got paid $200,000 once again to fight Forrest Griffin, that time around also winning a $60,000 Knockout of the Night bonus.

These $200k purses continued for the Spider all the way up until the first Chris Weidman fight. That fight is a special one for other reasons too, of course. But before then, Silva renegotiated his contract in a big way. His flat fee was now $600k with a win bonus of $200k, adding up to the kind of number he probably should have been getting paid all along.

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Post-title run purses

Unfortunately for Anderson, since the fight where his contract stated that he would make a $200k win bonus, he’s only won two fights, one of which was overturned after he tested positive for drostanolone and androsterone. That means that his win against Derek Brunson in 2017 was his highest paid fight, coming in at $820,000 including the $20k Reebok sponsorship.

All in all, Anderson’s total UFC career earnings was a massive $8,732,000, making him one of the top five highest paid fighters in the company’s history. In fact, none of those numbers include PPV points that he earned throughout his time with the company and any undisclosed bonuses, of which we’re sure the Spider earned many.


Before Reebok came along, Anderson Silva was one of the frontrunners when it came to sponsorships. In August of 2011, he signed a deal with Nike and by then, he already had a deal with Burger King. He was also the first client to be marketed by 9INE, a sports marketing company owned by the legendary Ronaldo. There’s no doubt that Anderson made millions in his career from these kind of deals that were iconic in the MMA space when they first happened.

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Future earnings

Anderson’s fight against Uriah Hall in November was the penultimate fight on his UFC contract, but in the build-up to the fight, he repeatedly stated that it would be his last fight with the company. Though Dana White could have held him, he released Anderson from his contract. At a time when bidding wars from places like Bellator and PFL should have come along, one by one, fighting organisations said that they weren’t interested in Anderson.

Perhaps this is due to Dana White scolding anyone who’d dare to sign a man so far out of his prime, but more than likely it’s because Anderson would require upwards of $1 million every fight and it’s not something companies can afford to pay, especially this year when hardly any gate from ticket sales is coming in.

Either way, we’ll probably see Silva fight again, maybe even in that old boxing fight against Roy Jones Jr. that has been teased for years now. Whatever you think about Anderson fighting in his forties, Anderson’s next move will be a lucrative venture.

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