Mixed martial arts superstar Conor McGregor was the sporting world’s highest-paid athlete in 2020, raking in around $180 million ($A233m) with earnings boosted by commercial ventures, a Forbes report showed Wednesday.
The 32-year-old Irishman only fought once in 2020, earning around $22 million ($A28m) from his victory over Donald Cerrone in January.
The bulk of the former plumber’s pay packet — an estimated $158 million ($A205m) — came via his successful business activities, which included the sale of his Proper Twelve whiskey brand.
Watch European Football with beIN SPORTS and ESPN on Kayo. New to Kayo? Try 14-Days Free Now >
McGregor was one of only four athletes to earn more than $100 million ($A130m) in 2020, according to the Forbes annual list of sport’s highest earners.
Back in 2017, McGregor predicted one day he would usurp Ronaldo on the top of the list, telling him: “You were number one on the Forbes list, I was like number 35 or something. I’ll get up. Maybe next year I’ll get you.”
Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi was second on the list with $130 million ($A168m) in earnings, followed by Juventus idol Cristiano Ronaldo with $120 million ($A155m).
Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott was ranked fourth on the list with $107.5 million ($A139m).
The bulk of Prescott’s earnings came via a $66 million signing bonus agreed when he inked a $160 million ($A207m) contract extension with the iconic NFL franchise.
LeBron James came in fifth with $96.5 million ($A125m) after a year that saw him lead the Los Angeles Lakers to the NBA Finals crown.
Get all the latest football news, highlights and analysis delivered straight to your inbox with Fox Sports Sportmail. Sign up now!!!
Some $65 million ($A84m) 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 $95 million ($A123m).
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 $90 million ($A117m) from endorsements.
Formula One star Lewis Hamilton ($82 million/$A106m), NFL Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady ($76 million/$A98m) and NBA Brooklyn Nets ace Kevin Durant ($75 million/$A97m) rounded out the top 10.
FORBE’S 10 HIGHEST-PAID ATHLETES
1. Conor McGregor, UFC: $180 million ($A233m)
2. Lionel Messi, Barcelona: $130 million ($A168m)
3. Cristiano Ronaldo, Juventus: $120 million ($A155m)
4. Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys: $107.5 million ($A139m)
5. LeBron James, Los Angeles Lakers: $96.5 million ($A125m)
6. Neymar, Paris Saint-Germain: $ 95 million ($ A123m)
7. Roger Federer, tennis: $90 million ($A117m)
8. Lewis Hamilton, F1: $82 million ($A106m)
9. Tom Brady, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: $76 million ($A98m)
10. Kevin Durant, Brooklyn Nets: $75 million ($A97m)