Jon Jones has earned an estimated $15-20 million over his dominant UFC career. But how did he make so much money, and where could he rank among the UFC’s top earners? Read on to find out.
MMA fans know Jon Jones as one of the most successful fighters in UFC history. With a professional record of 26-1 with 1 no contest, Jones has put together an exceptional career since debuting in 2008.
The New York native first captured UFC gold in 2011 when he became the youngest champion in UFC history at age 23. Jones has since defended the UFC Light Heavyweight Championship a record 11 times against elite competition.
But Jones hasn’t just achieved greatness inside the Octagon – he’s earned massive paydays along the way. Let’s break down Jon Jones’ career earnings and see how they stack up to other UFC stars.
Earning $20k in His UFC Debut
After going 6-0 as a professional, Jon Jones made his UFC debut on August 9, 2008 at UFC 87 against Andre Gusmao. Although it was his first UFC fight, Jones earned $20,000 for the victory – $10k to show and another $10k win bonus.
Jones rattled off six straight wins to begin his UFC career, earning $20k to $40k per fight. A submission win over Brandon Vera at UFC Live 1 in March 2010 netted him his biggest payday yet – $40k total.
Becoming Champion and Earning Six Figures
Everything changed when Jones defeated Mauricio “Shogun” Rua at UFC 128 in March 2011. The victory made him the youngest-ever UFC champ at age 23 and earned Jones $175,000 including a $75k win bonus.
His first title defence against Quinton “Rampage” Jackson at UFC 135 saw Jones earn his first six-figure purse – $250k base pay plus a $150k win bonus. From there, Jones’ purses steadily climbed into the high six figures and beyond as his pay-per-view draws increased.
$500k Purse at UFC 214 – But Revoked for Failed Drug Test
Jon Jones earned some massive paydays during his peak run as UFC Light Heavyweight Champion. He earned $500,000 for a successful title defence against Daniel Cormier at UFC 214 in July 2017.
However, Jones failed a drug test after the fight and the result was changed to a no contest. He lost his $500k purse plus a $20k Reebok sponsorship as a result.
Estimated Career Purses Over $5 Million
It’s difficult to tally Jones’ career earnings exactly, as UFC fighter pay is not transparent. However, estimations put Jones’ total career purse earnings from UFC fights at around $5-10 million.
His highest purses have come in recent years, as Jones has earned $500k or more for fights against Cormier, Ovince Saint Preux, and Anthony Smith. These seven-figure paydays contribute greatly to Jones’ career earnings.
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$1 Million in Performance Bonuses
In addition to his purse pay, Jones has also banked big money from UFC performance bonuses over the years. He’s won a total of 10 performance bonuses, including:
- 5 Fight of the Night bonuses
- 3 Submission of the Night bonuses
- 1 Knockout of the Night bonus
- 1 Performance of the Night bonus
These bonus awards have added around $1 million to Jones’ career earnings. When you finish fights in spectacular fashion, you get paid extra!
Massive Earnings from UFC 182: Over $3 Million
One of Jones’ biggest career paydays was at UFC 182 in January 2015. He took home his standard $500k purse for defending his title against Daniel Cormier.
But UFC 182 is estimated to have sold 800,000+ pay-per-view buys. For a star of Jones’ calibre, his PPV points likely earned him an extra $2-3 million for that fight night alone.
Jones has earned similarly large amounts on other blockbuster PPVs against Cormier, Rua, Rampage, and Vitor Belfort, taking home millions in PPV earnings over his career.
Nike and Reebok Endorsement Deals
Being one of the UFC’s most popular stars has allowed Jones to land major endorsement deals and sponsorships.
Early in his career, Jones signed an endorsement deal with Nike worth an estimated $2 million over 3 years. More recently, he’s partnered with the UFC’s outfitting sponsor Reebok.
Though the terms of Jones’ Reebok deal aren’t public, it certainly adds a few million more to his career earnings.
Estimated Career Earnings: $15-20 Million
Factoring together his reported purses, bonuses, PPV points, and sponsorships, most estimates put Jon Jones’ total career earnings between $15-20 million.
After taxes, fight expenses, and the cost of his legal troubles, Jones’ net worth is likely still in the 8-figure range. Not a bad career for a guy who was fighting for $20k ten years ago!
Jones Ranks Among the Top-Paid UFC Fighters
Massive earners like Conor McGregor and Georges St-Pierre make it tough for Jones to claim the top spot on the list of highest-paid UFC fighters.
But with an estimated $15-20 million in career earnings, Jones still ranks among the top 3-5 best-compensated fighters ever – no small feat in the history of MMA pay.
Huge Earnings Potential in Move to Heavyweight
At age 34, Jones is not done chasing big paydays yet. He has recently bulked up and plans to move up to the UFC Heavyweight division where he could command even higher purses.
Jones also has massive earnings potential in possible mega-fights with UFC Heavyweight Champion Francis Ngannou or a third fight with Cormier.
If Jones can string together a few more elite years at heavyweight, he can add $10 million more to his career total.
Conclusion: All-Time Great Seeks More Earnings Before Retirement
With estimated career earnings between $15-20 million, Jon Jones has already cashed UFC checks that few others in MMA history can match.
But at age 34, Jones isn’t done yet. If he can capture UFC gold at heavyweight and score another massive payday or two, Jones just may end his career as the MMA money king.