Conor McGregor Makes History by Topping Forbes’ List for World’s Highest Paid Athlete

Published 05/12/2021, 1:39 PM EDT
NEW YORK, NY – JULY 13: Conor McGregor speaks during the Floyd Mayweather Jr. v Conor McGregor World Press Tour event at Barclays Center on July 13, 2017 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. (Photo by Mike Lawrie/Getty Images)


Former two-division UFC champion Conor McGregor has topped Forbes’ list for the world’s highest-paid athlete. ‘The Notorious’ has made the top 10 of the list before. However, this is the first time he has finished as no.1.

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McGregor made a total earning of $180 million. $158 million of his earnings have been outside of fighting in the last 12 months. Lionel Messi has taken the second spot, ahead of third-placed Cristiano Ronaldo. Messi has an estimated earning of $130 million, compared to Ronaldo’s $120 million.

NEW YORK, NY – SEPTEMBER 20: Conor McGregor poses for photos during the UFC 229 Press Conference at Radio City Music Hall on September 20, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images)

Dallas Cowboys’ Dak Prescott and Los Angeles Lakers’ LeBron James take the fourth and fifth spot, respectively. Prescott made an earning of a total $ 107.5 million compared to James’s $96.5 million. This is the first time in history that four athletes on the list have made an earning of over $100 million.

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This was McGregor’s second appearance in the top 10 list for Forbes’ highest-paid athletes. He is the first-ever UFC fighter to capture the top spot on the list. This speaks volumes about the superstar he is today. And with ‘The Notorious’ active once again in his UFC career, one can expect to be present in the list in the near future.

Conor McGregor returns to action at UFC 264

McGregor will look to right his wrong against Dustin Poirier at UFC 264 in July. He was knocked out in the second round of his last fight against ‘The Diamond‘ at UFC 257 in January. Many were shocked at the outcome. McGregor believed his inactivity inside the UFC Octagon for a long time was the reason for his downfall.

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ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – JANUARY 23: (R-L) Dustin Poirier punches Conor McGregor of Ireland in a lightweight fight during the UFC 257 event inside Etihad Arena on UFC Fight Island on January 23, 2021 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)

Both men are now tied at a score of 1-1 with McGregor having a first-round knockout win over Poirier dating back to 2014. He will look to settle the score between them once and for all when they clash for the third time. He is currently preparing for the fight away from his family. The latest release of the Forbes’ list should further encourage him as well.

How long can McGregor stay at the top of the list? Let us know your thoughts.

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Apratim Banerjee

1226 articles

Apratim Banerjee is an MMA author for EssentiallySports and has been writing professionally for almost a year. Before his current gig, Apratim worked as a UFC writer for Sportskeeda. A long-time MMA fan, Apratim has developed a critical eye for the sport that has helped him transfer his vast knowledge to his copies and give hardcore and casual readers a detailed insight into the fights and fighters.

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