The Most Profitable UFC Champions in 2021

The Most Profitable UFC Champions in 2021
Image © Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports
✍️ Written by
Frank Weber
🗓 Updated
Aug 23rd 2023

2021 was a massive year for the UFC. Thanks to the ESPN deal, the UFC is reaching more people than ever before, and that shows in their record-setting number of total pay-per-view buys.

Throughout the year, a total of 15 fighters across all divisions have adorned the coveted Championship belt, between non-disputed champs and interim champs. UFC is one of the most bet on sports across the country, with moneyline bets and prop bets some of the most popular. Here are all 15 of the fighters ranked in terms of Moneyline profit.

1. Julianna Pena +3 units

Pena was crowned the Women’s Bantamweight Champion after her surprise submission victory over former champ Amanda Nunes at UFC 269. Pena came into that fight as a +210 underdog, but the odds were as high as +500 at the announcement of the fight. She was also able to secure a submission victory over Sara McMann at UFC 257, in which she was a -111 favorite in a pick ‘em fight. Pena has no fights announced for 2022 yet, but it is presumed that a rematch between her and Nunes is in the works.

2. Rose Namajunas +2.56 units

Thug Rose had two fights this calendar year, and was crowned the Champion in her first one at UFC 261. She stripped former champ Zhang Weili from her belt with a massive head-kick finish, and was able to win the rematch at UFC 268 thanks to a split decision victory. Rose is an instant fan favorite, and should have a fight scheduled in the early part of 2022 against either Carla Esparza or Marina Rodriguez.

3. Glover Teixeira +2 units

The old man actually did it–Glover Teixeira was able to grab the Light Heavyweight throne at the young age of 41, securing the belt with a submission victory over Jan Blachowicz at UFC 267. Glover is one of the oldest Champions in UFC history, but plans to keep fighting until he loses his belt. A fight against #2 Ranked Light Heavyweight Jiri Prochazka is most likely in the works next for the Champion.

4. Charles Oliveira +1.81 Units

What a year it’s been for Charles Oliveira–earning the vacated belt with a win over Michael Chandler, Oliveira ended the year with a bang by defending it against Dustin Poirier. Oliveira was a slight underdog in that second fight, with the odds closing at +110. He looks to fight Justin Gaethje next, with a fight against Islam Makhachev looming around the corner.

5. Brandon Moreno +1.5 units

Flyweight Champion Brandon Moreno only fought once this year, beating Deiveson Figueiredo via Submission at UFC 263. This fight was a rematch of their majority draw last year, and Moreno came into the rematch as a +150 underdog. A trilogy fight is scheduled for January 22, 2022, at UFC 270.

6. Ciryl Gane +1.25 units

Coming into the year Gane was one of the best prospects in the UFC, and his 3-0 performance in 2021 proved why. Gane was able to grab the interim championship belt at UFC 265, thanks to a TKO finish of Derrick Lewis. Before that fight, Gane had wins over Alexander Volkov and Jairzinho Rozenstruik, and he was a -176 and -250 favorite in those fights respectively. Gane has a unification fight against Heavyweight Champion Francis Ngannou scheduled for UFC 270.

7. Kamaru Usman +.91 units

 Kamaru only profiting less than a unit between three victories should show just how dominant he is. Usman went a perfect 3-0 in 2021, with wins over Gilbert Burns, Jorge Masvidal, and Colby Covington. Usman was over a -300 favorite in all three of those fights, and ended two of them via KO/TKO. Usman has no immediate fights lined up for 2022, but Leon Edwards or Khamzat Chimaev could easily be his next opponent.

Here's how the rest of the list plays out:

8. Aljamain Sterling +.83u

9. Jan Blachowicz +.75u

10. Francis Ngannou +.69u

11. Alexander Volkanovski +.5u

12. Valentina Shevschenko +.23u

13. Israel Adesanya -.64u

14. Petr Yan -.67u

15. Amanda Nunes -.9u

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