In a recent interview with Ariel Helwani's The MMA Show, UFC fighter Paige VanZant said that she earns more income from posts on her Instagram account than she does as a professional fighter.
“With endorsements, I make way more money sitting at home posting pictures on Instagram than I do fighting,” VanZant said. “If I were to stop everything I do outside of fighting and just fight, I would be at a loss financially. By a long shot.”
Since joining the UFC in 2014, VanZant has earned an estimated $475,000 from fighting, including win bonuses and sponsorships, which averages out to roughly $80,000 a year. VanZant supplements that income with sponsored posts for brands like CBD company Sun Valley Science on her Instagram feed, which has more than 2.2 million followers.
VanZant has been sidelined with an arm injury since February, and during that time she has been vocal about the pay disparity between male and female fighters in the UFC. As CNN reported last week, the promotion's highest-paid fighter at UFC 241, Stipe Miocic, earned $750,000 for a single fight. In fact, eight of the male fighters in UFC 241 took home six-figure payouts. Meanwhile, the highest-paid woman, Hannah Cifers, earned just $28,000—part of which was a bonus for winning the fight, Forbes reported.