Conor McGregor is now the world's richest athlete after a crazy year

Author
news.com.au,
Publish Date
Thu, 13 May 2021, 12:06PM
(Photo / Getty)
(Photo / Getty)

Conor McGregor is now the world's richest athlete after a crazy year

Author
news.com.au,
Publish Date
Thu, 13 May 2021, 12:06PM

Mixed martial arts superstar, Conor McGregor, was the sporting world's highest-paid athlete in 2020, raking in around $252m million with earnings boosted by commercial ventures, a Forbes report showed Thursday.

The 32-year-old Irishman only fought once in 2020, earning around $31 million from his victory over Donald Cerrone in January.

The bulk of the former plumber's pay packet — an estimated $221 million — came via his successful business activities, which included the sale of his Proper Twelve whiskey brand.

McGregor was one of only four athletes to earn more than $140 million in 2020, according to the Forbes annual list of sport's highest earners.

Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi was second on the list with $181 million in earnings, followed by Juventus idol Cristiano Ronaldo with $167 million.

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott was ranked fourth on the list with $150 million.

The bulk of Prescott's earnings came via a $92 million signing bonus agreed when he inked a $223 million contract extension with the iconic NFL franchise.

LeBron James came in fifth with $135 million after a year that saw him lead the Los Angeles Lakers to the NBA Finals crown.

Some $91 million of James' earnings came from endorsements and other off-the-court activities.

Paris Saint-Germain's Brazilian striker Neymar was sixth on the list with $133 million.

Swiss tennis star Roger Federer, meanwhile, continued to make the top 10 despite playing only one tournament in 2020. The 20-time Grand Slam singles champion earned most of his $126 million from endorsements.

Formula One star Lewis Hamilton ($114 million), NFL Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady ($106 million) and NBA Brooklyn Nets ace Kevin Durant ($105 million) rounded out the top 10.

Covid doesn't hurt athlete's bank balances

Despite the upheaval to the sporting calendar due to the coronavirus, the wealth of the world's top athletes grew significantly.

The combined earnings of the top 10 was $1.47 billion — 28 per cent more than last year's top 10 and perilously close to the record of $1.48 billion set a few years back when Floyd Mayweather pulled in more than $324 million on his own for fighting McGregor.

McGregor landed at number four that year but this is first time as number one.