The numbers of the highest-paid athletes for this year have started coming in, and research by FindBettingSites.co.uk has showcased how Conor McGregor vaulted to the top of the leader board, earning an incredibly $208 million. What did McGregor have to say on this topic? He replied: “I’m a disrupter”.
Fans may recall that, in 2016, Conor McGregor told football legend, Cristiano Ronaldo, that one day he will overtake him as sports’ highest-paid athlete. The time has come, and Ronaldo, who earns hundreds of thousands of dollars for tweets and Instagram posts has been overtaken by the MMA star Conor McGregor. Of course, to the news of Conor McGregor topping this year’s highest-paid athletes list, McGregor had a typical reply, saying that he’d “been waiting on the call, to be honest”. Back in 2016, Cristiano Ronaldo topped the year as the world’s highest-paid athlete by earning a crazy $88 million, but McGregor, this year, has earned $208 million.
Conor McGregor has a special story to tell, and him being still 32 means we will leave behind an inspirational walk for other athletes – and entrepreneurs even! – behind. Although McGregor is not considered to be the number 1 most technically adept fighter, he has a unique mix of ability, style, and swagger (well, mostly trash talk) which are not only explosive by themselves but are then strongly amplified in the Octagon and on social media, and sports conferences through McGregor’s big persona.
Conor McGregor this year makes the sports rankings one for the history books, and here is why. McGregor made his UFC debut in just 2013, and had a winning streak for many years, winning himself the featherweight championship title. However, his biggest payday actually came in 2017, when we chose to adapt to a different sport and fight Floyd “Money” Mayweather in a boxing match, which also broke all sorts of pay-per-view and money-making records. McGregor then made $85 million for coming out of MMA for the match and losing to Mayweather.
This year, although McGregor hasn’t broken his personal record in terms of securing an even larger payday, he still tops the highest-paid athlete list. McGregor has an MMA fight scheduled to take place in July, against Dustin Poirier, but over the past few years since his ‘Big Money’ fight against Mayweather, McGregor hasn’t been particularly active in MMA. However, this year McGregor is set to make $170 million from selling his majority stake in his Irish whiskey company, called Proper No. Twelve. Although these earnings are before tax is taken into account, it brings to questions in regard to the extent to which we can call McGregor the highest-paid athlete as opposed to the celebrity of entrepreneur.
McGregor also spoke more in regard to his astronomical earnings this year and successful MMA and fighting career: “I’m in debt to the tough times”, McGregor said, in relation to his years of breaking into MMA and the UFC, which he spent just scraping by. “Because when you breakthrough, you are an unstoppable force”.
One way or another, McGregor has become a successful sportsman and by a long mile, the highest-paid athlete in this year’s rankings. In fairness to McGregor, he could have sold the company earlier in previous years, such as in 2018, to “make a quick buck”, but instead he took a risk and, clearly, it paid off. But the star has more fight left in him, and it will be interesting how his career continues to unfold following a pristine year.