Conor McGregor is more than a salesman for hard liquor, more than a bar owner and more than your average fighter.
The Irish mixed martial arts superstar – who also boxed Floyd Mayweather – is now No. 1 in earnings, having topped Forbes Magazine’s annual list of its highest paid athletes.
The earnings, though, came largely from outside-the-ring pursuits – including the aforementioned hard liquor. McGregor sold a majority stake in his Proper No. 12 for $150 million. He made $158 million in all non-fighting compensation.
Inside the ring, McGregor will next be seen at his UFC 264 trilogy fight with Dustin Poirier as he seeks to keep alive the very pursuit that vaulted him into the world’s spotlight.
Only golfing legend Tiger Woods and the great tennis pro Roger Federer have accomplished McGregor’s feat of earning $70 million in non-competition compensation while participating as active competitors in their respective sports.
McGregor’s outside income also includes a marketing arm prominently featuring DraftKings and Roots of Fight.
McGregor is coming off a loss, though he reportedly made $22 million in that second-round TKO defeat to Poirier at January’s UFC 257 event in Abu Dhabi.
The rematch is targeted for July 10 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Not surprisingly, the match reportedly sold out in minutes.
The outside income factor lends somewhat of an asterisk to the list that comprises mainly the athletes’ contractual numbers.
Were it not for the well-played business move, McGregor would land quite a bit down the list.
Forbes’ top five – without McGregor’s whiskey-added compensation – would be soccer superstars at the Nos. 1 and 2 spots, with Lionel Messi ($130 million) and Cristiano Ronaldo ($120 million) at the forefront; the Los Angeles Lakers’ LeBron James ($96.5 million), Super Bowl champion Tom Brady ($76 million) and the Brooklyn Nets’ Kevin Durant ($75 million).