Conor McGregor was the world’s highest paid athlete over the past 12 months, according to the annual Forbes list, earning just shy of £128m, according to BBC Sport.
The Irish mixed martial artist made £15.6m from his fight against Dustin Poirier, with the rest coming from the sale of his whiskey brand and a growing endorsement portfolio.
Footballers Lionel Messi (£92.4m) and Cristiano Ronaldo (£85.3m) come next with NFL quarterback Dak Prescott (£76.4m) and basketballer LeBron James (£68.6m) rounding out the top five.
Formula 1 world champion Lewis Hamilton was the only Briton in the top 10, sitting eighth with earnings of £58.3m.
Roger Federer, who topped last year’s list, came seventh (£64m) with Super Bowl winning quarterback Tom Brady, basketball star Kevin Durant and PSG forward Neymar completing an all-male top 10.
McGregor, 32, was defeated on his return to the Octagon in January in his sole MMA outing of the last 12 months. The Dubliner tops the Forbes list in his second appearance in the top 10, having been named fourth in 2018 after his fight with Floyd Mayweather.
“Adding in his endorsements, McGregor made $158m (£112.3m) outside of his fighting career over the last 12 months, becoming only the third athlete, after Roger Federer and Tiger Woods, to earn more than $70m (£49.8m) off the field in a single year while still actively competing,” said Forbes.
Despite the Covid-19 pandemic wreaking havoc to the sporting calendar in the last year, the top 10 combined earned 28% more than last year’s top 10.
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