MMA STARS will never earn as much as boxers, according to legend of the ring Mike Tyson.
The popularity of mixed martial arts has never been higher, with hordes of fans enjoying all of the latest action on UFC’s Fight Island.
But the biggest money remains in boxing, with Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder believed to have earned as much as £19.4million each for their rematch in Las Vegas back in February.
Conor McGregor, the UFC’s most marketable star, meanwhile pocketed a promotion record £3.8million for his comeback bout against veteran Donald Cerrone in January.
The Irishman’s top career purse remains from his crossover boxing match with Floyd Mayweather in 2017.
The Notorious, 32, was comfortably beaten as many predicted, but the blow of defeat was certainly softened by a pay-day of close to £100m.
And Tyson, 54, speaking to podcaster Brant James, said: “MMA will always have more views and stuff than boxing, but boxers will always make more money than MMA fighters.”
Then quizzed on why that’s the case, he continued: “That’s tricky, it doesn’t make any sense.
“I don’t know, they don’t make enough money in my perspective. It’s exciting and sexy, but [UFC fighters] don’t make enough money.”
McGregor’s previous UFC return following his fight with Mayweather saw him take on Khabib Nurmagomedov in one of the most highly-anticipated match-ups of the modern era.
The Russian produced a thrilling performance to defeat the motor-mouthed McGregor by a fourth-round submission.
But even for this most mouthwatering of fights, McGregor, 31, pocketed £2.3m – a fraction of what a boxer in a fight of a similar magnitude would have.
McGregor is now preparing to come out of retirement for the third time ahead of his proposed showdown with Dustin Poirier.
Tyson himself, who is making an incredible comeback against Roy Jones Jr next month, earned a staggering £24m for his infamous rematch with Evander Holyfield all the way back in 1997.