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, a figure which includes $158 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 while Portugal and Juventus forward Ronaldo earned $120 million to sit third among the top 10 highest-paid athletes.
NFL quarterback Dak Prescott ($107.5 million) of the Dallas Cowboys and four-times NBA champion LeBron James ($96.5 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:
Top-10 Highest-Paid Athletes
- Conor McGregor (MMA)- $180 million
- Lionel Messi (La Liga, Barcelona)- $130 million
- Cristiano Ronaldo (Serie A, Juventus)- $120 million
- Dak Prescott (NFL, Cowboys)- $107.5 million
- LeBron James (NBA, Lakers)- $96.5 million
- Neymar (Ligue 1, PSG)- $95 million
- Roger Federer (Tennis)- $90 million
- Lewis Hamilton (Formula 1, Mercedes)- $82 million
- Tom Brady (NFL, Buccaneers)- $76 million
- Kevin Durant (NBA, Nets)- $75 million