Conor McGregor is not lying when he says that he knows how to make money. And this year, Forbes is backing him up as they’ve named him the highest-paid athlete for 2021.
McGregor takes top honors for the first time in his career and his second appearance on the list. Forbes reviews prize money, salaries, and bonuses earned between May 1, 2020, and May 1, 2021. They also include endorsement incomes that estimate sponsorship deals, appearance fees, and licensing revenues based on information from industry insiders.
McGregor has been tireless in his pursuit of wealth. This year he’s earned $180 million, with $158 million of that total made outside of the ring. The re-evaluation of Proper Twelve heavily contributed to McGregor’s financial success this year, with him remaining in an ownership role with the whiskey brand. The move made McGregor part of a prestigious group as only the third athlete in history to earn more than $70 million outside of athletic competition while still actively competing in a single year. He joins Roger Federer and Tiger Woods with the accomplishment.
McGregor dethrones Federer, who earned top honors last year, with Lionel Messi, Christiano Ronaldo, Dak Prescott, and LeBron James rounding out this year’s top five. It is also the first time that more than three athletes earned over $100 million in a single year.
For his part, McGregor shows no signs of slowing down. He has purchased pubs in his native Dublin. He has also talked about buying a significant soccer organization with Manchester United and Celtic atop his list.
McGregor has also stated that he plans on fighting at least twice this year, likely adding to the earnings he’s already secured in 2021. He continues to make history as the only MMA fighter ever recognized by Forbes on the list.
Do you think Conor McGregor will continue to reign as one of the highest-paid athletes in the world beyond 2021?