Conor McGregor Named World’s Highest-Paid Athlete

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Irish MMA fighter Conor McGregor earned $180 million in the last 12 months, making him the world’s highest-paid athlete. On Forbes’ new list of the 10 best-paid athletes, McGregor trumped football superstars Lionel Messi and Christiano Ronaldo for the first time. In fact, McGregor is the only MMA fighter on the list.

According to Forbes, the fighter made most of his cash last year from the recent sale of his majority stake in the whiskey company Proper No. Twelve, which was sold to Proximo Spirits for $150 million.

McGregor is followed by Messi and Ronaldo, as well as NFL and NBA superstars. Surprisingly, only one tennis player made the list this year, and it isn’t the world No. 1 Novak Djokovic. Meanwhile, Lewis Hamilton is the only Formula 1 driver to land on the list this year after earning just over $80 million.

Here’s the full list of the world’s highest-paid athletes, along with their earnings:

  • Conor McGregor: $180 million
  • Lionel Messi: $130 million
  • Christiano Ronaldo: $120 million
  • Dak Prescott: $107 million
  • Lebron James: $96.5 million
  • Neymar: $95 million
  • Roger Federer: $90 million
  • Lewis Hamilton: $82 million
  • Tom Brady: $76 million
  • Kevin Durant: $75 million

The past year was tough for sports, to say the least. The global pandemic initially halted all sporting events, which also led to fans and punters switching over to virtual sports betting until the sports arenas reopened. Still, all the lockdowns and restrictions didn’t seem to dent the earnings of the top sports stars. According to Forbes’ research, these athletes grossed a total of $1.05 billion (pre-tax) during the past year, which is 28% higher than the year before. However, Floyd Mayweather’s record year remains unbeaten. The famous boxer grossed $285 million in 2018 to secure the top spot on Forbes’ list.