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Conor McGregor beats Messi, Ronaldo to be named Highest-Paid Athlete

It seems like a lifetime ago that a fresh-faced, tattoo-less Conor McGregor burst onto the scene with a knockout-of-the-night performance in his UFC debut.

Now, eight years on, the wild Irishman is making a lot more than $60,000 in a night’s work.

Former UFC dual-division champion McGregor has just been named as the highest paid athlete on the planet.

The 32-year-old is now at the summit of Forbes’ prestigious list, surpassing the likes of Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and LeBron James.

According to the figures crunched by Forbes, McGregor pocketed a whopping US$180million in 2020 despite only stepping foot inside the octagon once.

While it’s understood the majority of his earnings came from his multi-million-dollar business ventures away from fighting, McGregor did still make an impressive $22million for his fight against Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone.

The rest?

Well, that came from his highly-popular Proper No.12 whiskey company which made a reported $158million.

You can only begin to imagine where McGregor will place on next year’s rich list after he recently sold his majority stake in the business to well-known tequila company Jose Cuervo for around $600million.

Just behind the UFC fan favourite is football megastar Lionel Messi, whose ‘leaked’ Barcelona contract indicates he’ll probably catapult up the rankings next year.

Cristiano Ronaldo takes up third spot having made a cushty $120million – just $10million less than Messi.

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott comes in at fourth spot with $108million thanks to his mega-money NFL deal.

And taking up the last spot inside the top 5 is NBA legend LeBron James who took home $97million.

They’re followed by Neymar, Roger Federer, Lewis Hamilton, Tom Brady and Kevin Durant.


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