Conor McGregor one of sport’s highest-paid, according to ‘Forbes’

Rory McIlroy comes in at No 26 on world list, which is dominated by soccer stars

Conor McGregor comes in fourth place with a total of about €84.5 million. A year earlier he was ranked in joint 24th. Photograph: Paul Faith/AFP/Getty Images

Conor McGregor comes in fourth place with a total of about €84.5 million. A year earlier he was ranked in joint 24th. Photograph: Paul Faith/AFP/Getty Images

 

Mixed martial arts fighter Conor McGregor has been named one of the highest-paid sports stars in the world following his fight against boxer Floyd Mayweather last year.

The UFC star may have taken a bit of a pummelling in the ring, but the fight was a nice earner for McGregor, who has jumped 20 places in Forbes’s annual list of the highest-paid athletes.

McGregor comes in fourth with winnings of $85 million (€72.5 million) and an additional $14 million in endorsements to give a total of $99 million. A year earlier he was ranked in joint 24th place overall with earnings of $61 million.

Top of the Forbes list is McGregor’s recent opponent. Mayweather, who recently suggested he was open to fighting the Irish man in a mixed martial arts fight in the UFC, had earnings of $275 million and a further $10 million in endorsements.

A fellow Irish man, golfer Rory McIlroy, is ranked 26th in the list, with earnings of $34 million, and a further $3.7 million in endorsements, for a total of about €32 million.

Rory McIlroy is ranked in 26th place with earnings of earnings of about €32 million. Photograph: Glyn Kirk/AFP/Getty Images
Rory McIlroy is ranked in 26th place with earnings of earnings of about €32 million. Photograph: Glyn Kirk/AFP/Getty Images

Soccer dominates

Soccer stars dominate the list, with Lionel Messi in second place overall with earnings of $111 million, followed closely by arch rival Cristiano Ronaldo on $108 million. Neymar, who became the most expensive footballer in transfer history when he joined Paris Saint Germain for €222 million in August 2017, is ranked in fifth place with earnings of €77 million.

Rounding out the top 10 highest-paid sports stars, according to Forbes are basketball stars LeBron James and Stephen Curry (in sixth and eighth place respectively), tennis player Roger Federer and American football stars Matt Ryan and Matthew Stafford.

The 100 top-earning athletes hail from 22 countries and compete in 11 sports with basketball players the most prevalent. Over the past 12 months, the athletes combined banked a cumulative $3.8 billion with 23 per cent of this derived from endorsements and appearances.