Conor McGregor usurps Lionel Messi as world's highest-paid athlete

·2-min read
Conor McGregor is pictured here flexing his muscles for a photo shoot.
Conor McGregor topped the Forbes list of highest-earning sports stars. Pic: Getty

*All figures are in Australian dollars unless otherwise stated

UFC superstar Conor McGregor has rocketed to the top of the Forbes rich list for sporting stars, with the Irishman the highest-paid athlete in 2020, according to the American business corporation.

The 32-year-old Irishman only fought once in 2020, earning around $28 million from his victory over Donald Cerrone in January.

'BULLSH*T': Ray Hadley savages Anthony Mundine's vaccine claims

'GENIUS AT WORK': Ash Barty's insane act of clay court mastery

However, business ventures including the sale of his whiskey company saw McGregor rake in around $232 million.

Those figures helped the Irishman surpass last year's highest-paid athlete, Lionel Messi ($168m), who came in second on this year's list ahead of football rival, Cristiano Ronaldo ($155m).

This content is not available due to your privacy preferences.
Update your settings here to see it.

McGregor was one of only four athletes to earn more than US$100 million in 2020 - with no female athletes in the top 10 - according to the Forbes annual list of sport's highest earners.

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

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott was ranked fourth on the list with $140 million.

The bulk of Prescott's earnings came via a $85 million signing bonus agreed when he inked a $207 million contract extension with the iconic NFL franchise.

Pictured here, Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott gets ready to throw the ball.
A huge Dallas Cowboys signing bonus saw Dak Prescott take fourth spot on the Forbes list. Pic: Getty

LeBron James came in fifth with $124 million after a year that saw him lead the Los Angeles Lakers to the NBA Finals crown.

More than half 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 $122 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 $116 million from endorsements.

Formula One star Lewis Hamilton ($106 million), NFL Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady ($98 million) and Brooklyn Nets NBA superstar Kevin Durant ($97 million) rounded out the top 10.

Forbes top-10 list 

Conor - $232 Million

Messi - $168 Million

Ronaldo - $155 million

Dak - $140 million

Lebron - $124 million

Neymar - $122 million

Federer - $116 million

Hamilton - $106 million

Brady - $98 million

Durant - $97 million

with agencies

Watch 'Mind Games', the new series from Yahoo Sport Australia exploring the often brutal mental toil elite athletes go through in pursuit of greatness:

Click here to sign up to our newsletter for all the latest and breaking stories from Australia and around the world.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting