Sean O’Malley tripled his 2023 UFC pay through social media: ‘I paid more in taxes than I made in my fight’

Sean O'Malley

Sean O’Malley tripled his fighter payout through various social media channels in 2023. Unfortunately, that also means he paid a hell of a lot more in taxes.

During a recent appearance on Bradley Martyn’s Raw Talk, the reigning UFC bantamweight world champion revealed that while he has made “a lot of money” in the UFC, a majority of his income comes through a series of side hustles, such as his TimboSugarShow podcast with longtime coach Tim Welch.

Sean O'Malley and Tim Welch

As it turns out, those extra gigs far exceed the money he makes from getting punched in the face for a living.

“My goal is always to become a multi-multi-multi-multi-multi-multi-millionaire,” O’Malley said. “I wanted to become — make a lot of money. You can make a lot of money in the UFC not talking sh*t, not really being on social media, doing all that thing. But you’re not — it’s gonna be harder when you have to win 5000 fights in a row.

“I paid more in taxes than I made last year in my fight [with Sterling],” he continued. “I made a lot of money fighting, but I made triple that from social media. From Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, and all these different social medias. I made triple the amount I made fighting. I made a lot of money fighting” (h/t MMA Mania).

O’Malley’s only fight in 2023 was his bantamweight title-winning performance against Aljamain Sterling at UFC 292. The bout took place in Boston, Mass where the athletic commission discloses fighter payouts. Per the released information, ‘Sugar’ banked a flat $500,000 for his victory.

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Sean O’Malley gearing up for a fight with top-ranked Merab Dvalishvili

Next on the docket for Sean O’Malley is a clash with the division’s top-ranked contender, Merab Dvalishvili. Riding a 10-fight win streak, ‘The Machine’ has long been considered the next man in line.

Merab Dvalishvili

“Merab’s on like a 10-fight winning streak,” O’Malley said. “One of the most boring guys in UFC history and he’s finally kind of changing it up a bit and kind of getting some attention now. I think Merab’s doing a good job. I think people are finding out they gotta be — I think Merab genuinely is kind of a goofball and I think he’s being like himself and that’s why it’s working. I don’t think he’s forcing it.”

No official date has been announced, but ‘Sugar’ has expressed interest in headlining UFC 306 in September when the promotion debuts inside The Sphere in Las Vegas.

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UFC 306