What an event to close out the 2023 campaign in the UFC! The outside temperatures may be low in Las Vegas but it will be boiling hot in the T-Mobile Arena on Saturday. Win or lose, a few fighters are guaranteed to earn big from the UFC 296 payouts. Check out the numbers below.
UFC Fighter Pay: What Will Edwards vs Covington Be Paid at UFC 296?
The last time Leon Edwards lost in the UFC was in 2016. Since then, he has won 11 bouts and had one no-contest after an accidental eye poke vs. Belal Muhammad in 2021. With such success, you would assume that Leon Edwards gets paid well and he does. Not as much as the likes of Kamaru Usman, for example, but more than what most fighters could ever dream of.
We have some numbers to talk about from his past fights. Based on reports, Edwards made his debut with a $66,000 UFC purse back in 2014. Surprisingly, he was paid even less for his next few bouts, including his first attempt to beat Kamaru Usman in 2015.
His UFC payouts saw a drastic increase in 2019 after he won against Rafael Dos Anjos. He reportedly earned $120,000 for both this fight and the next one against Belal Muhammad, before earning over $231,000 for his appearance vs. Nate Diaz. Now, keep in mind that these are the official purse numbers. None of the figures above include the win bonuses, so he made quite a lot more than that.
Edwards was reportedly paid $350,000 for the rematch against Usman at UFC 278. We can't confirm with 100% certainty but he earned way more for the trilogy match since he was the champion.
So, what do we expect from the UFC 296 payouts? Based on the previous reports, we think that Leon will earn at least $500,000 for this bout. If he wins, he will get double the amount, and after the PPV shares, he is likely to earn triple the amount.
As for his opponent, Colby Covington, he has always been a high-paid fighter but earned most when he fought Kamaru Usman (no surprises here). After all, Covington had two chances at the title in 2019 and 2021. As far as the reports go, Colby made at least $500,000 as base UFC fighter pay for both bouts.
He was paid the same amount for his most recent match in 2022 against Jorje Masvidal. Reports claim that he earned $500,000 as confirmed pay and an additional $500,000 as a win bonus.
There is a chance that he may be the highest-earning athlete on the UFC 296 fight card.
UFC 296 Payouts: What the Rest of the Card Can Expect
Before we start, we have to point out that the following figures are our predictions, not the official purses. The UFC is quite strict and we rarely get the actual numbers before the event. All our predictions below are based on the previous purses of the fighters, the results of their previous bouts, and the significance of this upcoming match.
• Welterweight Title: Leon Edwards ($500,000) vs Colby Covington ($500,000)
• Flyweight Title: Alexandre Pantoja ($400,000) vs Brandon Royval ($200,000)
• Welterweight: Shavkat Rakhmonov ($100,000) vs Stephen Thompson ($200,000)
• Lightweight: Tony Ferguson ($500,000) vs Paddy Pimblett ($150,000)
Overall, these are the biggest UFC 296 payouts. You may be surprised at Tony's purse but he is a UFC legend. His fights sell PPVs and despite his long streak of defeats, he remains one of the highest-paid fighters.