Irish MMA fighter Conor McGregor was the world’s highest-paid athlete over the last year ahead of soccer players Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, according to the annual Forbes list released on Wednesday.
During the 12-month period ending May 1, 2021, McGregor earned $180 million (€149 million), a figure which includes $158 million (€131 million) from endorsements and the recent sale of the majority stake of his whiskey brand, Forbes said.
Barcelona and Argentina forward Messi was second on the list and set a record as the highest-earning soccer player after bringing home $130 million (€108 million) while Portugal and Juventus forward Ronaldo earned $120 million (€99 million) to sit third among the top 10 highest-paid athletes.
NFL quarterback Dak Prescott (€89 million) of the Dallas Cowboys and four-times NBA champion LeBron James (€80 million) rounded out the top five.
Forbes said its on-the-field earnings figures include all prize money, salaries and bonuses earned during the 12-month period while off-the-field earnings are an estimate of sponsorship deals, appearance fees and licensing income.