Newly crowned UFC welterweight champion Robbie Lawler led the charge for the six fighters who cleared six-figure paydays at UFC 181, according to information released to MMAFighting.com by the Nevada Athletic Commission on Monday.
Lawler captured a narrow and somewhat contentious split decision victory over Johny Hendricks in UFC 181's main event, seizing the UFC's 170-pound strap with an empathic final round blitz just nine months after falling short against Hendricks in the pair's first meeting. Lawler pocketed $220,000 for his victory. Hendricks took home $150,000 for his losing effort, but would have earned an additional $200,000 win bonus had he successfully defended his belt.
In the night's co-main event, lightweight champion Anthony Pettis and challenger Gilbert Melendez earned identical $200,000 paydays for their heavily anticipated scrap. Fighting for the first time in nearly 16 months, Pettis ended Melendez's night with a stunning second-round guillotine to defend his UFC title for the first time and become the only man to finish Melendez.
Top-ranked fighters Travis Browne and Urijah Faber also cleared six-figure salaries for their successful nights of work. Browne pulled in $100,000 for his decisive victory over Brendan Schaub ($32,000), while Faber earned $140,000 for his controversial win over Francisco Rivera ($20,000), which was marred by a nasty eyepoke just prior to Faber's second-round submission finish.
UFC 181 took place Dec. 6, 2014 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, NV. Both Pettis brothers, Anthony and Sergio, took home additional $50,000 fight night bonuses for their work, as did undercard fighters Josh Samman and Matt Hobar.
As always, the entire UFC 181 payroll can be seen below, although these figures do not represent a fighter's total earnings, as sponsorship money and discretionary post-fight bonuses are not publicly disclosed.
Main Card (Pay-per-view)
Robbie Lawler ($110,000 + $110,000 = $220,000) def. Johny Hendricks ($150,000)
Anthony Pettis ($100,000 + $100,000 = $200,000) def. Gilbert Melendez ($200,000)
Travis Browne ($50,000 + $50,000 = $100,000) def. Brendan Schaub ($32,000)
Todd Duffee ($10,000 + $10,000 = $20,000) def. Anthony Hamilton ($10,000)
Tony Ferguson ($24,000 + $24,000 = $48,000) def. Abel Trujillo ($14,000)
Preliminary Card (FOX Sports 1)
Urijah Faber ($70,000 + $70,000 = $140,000) def. Francisco Rivera ($20,000)
Josh Samman ($8,000 + $8,000 = $16,000) def. $Eddie Gordon ($15,000)
Corey Anderson ($15,000 + $15,000 = $30,000) def. Justin Jones ($8,000)
Raquel Pennington ($10,000 + $10,000 = $20,000) def. Ashlee Evans-Smith ($8,000)