UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov was reportedly Russia’s “most successful” celebrity or athlete under 40 with $16.5 million earned in 2019-2020.
Forbes reported that Nurmagomedov totaled $16.5 million in earnings for the fiscal year ending in April 2020. This put Nurmagomedov in elite company as he was ranked ahead of NHL superstars Alexander Ovechkin, Evgeni Malkin, and Artemi Panarin, plus a number of Russian celebrities and musicians, as well.
The Forbes rankings combine the earnings of the athletes or celebrities plus factors in their social media profile, as well. With Nurmagomedov having over 20 million followers on Instagram, that put him at the top of the list when combined with his earnings, which include the money he made in the UFC, plus sponsorships and speaking arrangements.
According to Bloody Elbow’s Karim Zidan, “despite his strict policy against sponsoring alcohol, cigarettes, or gambling products and services, Nurmagomedov was able to amass a sponsorship portfolio that included contracts with Reebok, Toyota, Gorilla Energy drink, and Alhadaya (black cumin oil).”
The Forbes report says that Nurmagomedov also charges roughly $78,000 for his speaking arrangements and the money he earned there was factored into his total earnings.
UPDATE: Manager Ali Abdelaziz says Nurmagomedov actually makes $300,000 per speaking engagement.
This is little bit wrong his speaking engagements 300k per day minimum https://t.co/2ehBJtd3Le
— Ali Abdelaziz (@AliAbdelaziz00) June 30, 2020
Of course, Nurmagomedov is most famous for fighting inside the Octagon, and his fight against Dustin Poirier at UFC 242 in September 2019 was also a major part of his earnings. Because that event took place in Abu Dhabi, the salaries were not officially released, but if Forbes’ report is accurate, then Nurmagomedov made over $10 million for the Poirier fight alone, which he won via third-round submission in yet another dominant showing.
Unfortunately, Nurmagomedov’s scheduled fight against Tony Ferguson at UFC 249 in April in Brooklyn was scrapped due to the coronavirus pandemic, and had that fight gone on as scheduled it’s fair to say Nurmagomedov’s earnings would be far greater than they were, which is incredible to consider knowing he’s already at the top of the list.
“I feel more comfortable when they don’t support me. When many want you to lose, I want to show that they are wrong. I want to dare,” Khabib Nurmagomedov is quoted as saying from the Synergy forum.
Khabib Nurmagomedov is next set to defend the UFC lightweight championship when he takes on interim champ Justin Gaethje at UFC 243, which is rumored to take place in September in Abu Dhabi. Should Nurmagomedov prove victorious in that fight, he may be booked in a lucrative rematch against UFC superstar Conor McGregor.