With every passing year the number of online sports betting plays on MMA has grown, with the UFC taking the spotlight as the top promotion in the world. While it still doesn’t get the same level of action as the four major sports, MMA is certainly well on its way with a handful of names that stand out above the rest in terms of players laying down money on them. With so much money being passed around, it’s only fair that the players make their fair share of the pot. Success brings with it both money and fame, so it’s no surprise that UFC Light Heavyweight champion Jon “Bones” Jones was the top money earner of 2012.
Jones made just under $1 million for his two championship title defenses, taking $400,000 for his fight with his mentor Rashad Evans, and a total of $465,000 for his fight against Vitor Belfort, which included a nice online sportsbook bonus for Submission of the Night honors. Jones was the best-paid fighter of 2012 and there is no denying that the UFC has taken notice of his ability as a potential future face of the company, making the money that he earned well deserved. Jones will undoubtedly rank in the top-five again in 2013 barring injury, and it would be no surprise if he finished first once again.
Some sports betting fans will be surprised to learn that Evans was actually the second-highest earned in the UFC last year, making $710,000 for a pair of fights including his title shot against Jones. Evans received $300,000 for his loss to Jones at UFC 145, and a little more than that for beating Phil Davis at the UFC on Fox 2 show. Evans should once again rank near the top of the earned in 2013, as long as he is able to continue to bring in those win bonuses and possibly earn some event bonuses.
Next in line among the earners was the biggest European star in Michael Bisping, who earned $700,000 for a pair of fights against Chael Sonnen and Brian Stann. That includes a $125,000 win bonus for his online betting bout with Stann, and some solid show money just for filling seats. With a potential UFC Middleweight title shot around the corner this coming year, don’t expect Bisping to drop off too far on this money list.
Former UFC Heavyweight champion Junior Dos Santos, Hector Lombard, and Vitor Belfort all finished in the top-six for earners this year, with UFC Middleweight champion Anderson Silva finishing just ahead of Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, UFC Welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre, and Shogun Rua to round out the top-10 earners. The money was handed out in part for the big name draws just to show, but a lot of it also came in the form of win bonuses, as well as technical rewards for either submission or knockout of the night honors. For all of the latest MMA football news and odds, be sure to check out the best sports betting sites.