Forbes: Conor McGregor No. 21 highest paid athlete with earnings of $32 million in 2018
Former two-division UFC champ Conor McGregor is down on Forbes’ list of highest paid athletes after rocketing up to the No. 4 spot on the 2018 list.
At No. 21 in 2019 for the 2018 year, McGregor still out-earns nearly 80 percent of the field, including boxing stars Deontay Wilder, Manny Pacquiao and Gennady Golovkin.
Forbes claims McGregor, 30, earned $32 million in purses and pay-per-view bonuses and $15 million in endorsements. The figures likely are derived from a delay in tallying pay-per-view money from his 2018 submission loss to lightweight champ Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 229.
On the 2018 list, McGregor was still counting cash from his loss to Floyd Mayweather in “The Money Fight,” a spectacle that helped earn him a reported $99 million in 2017, with $85 million of that coming from his fight pay.
McGregor lamented he might have gone higher had he not been arrested for attacking a transport bus prior to UFC 223. The attack reportedly scuttled a planned fight in Rio De Janeiro at UFC 224.
In 2017, McGregor earned a reported $34 million and tied for the No. 24 spot with soccer player Gareth Bale. He debuted at No. 85 on the Forbes list in 2016, the year that he made history by becoming the UFC’s first two-division champ. With an estimated $22 million in earnings, he was the first MMA fighter to make the list.
Forbes claims McGregor earns $5 million per year with a Reebok sponsorship; other sponsors include Beats Electronics, Burger King, Monster Energy and Anheuser-Busch InBev. The list also claims he’s sold more than 200,000 cases of his Proper 12 whiskey.
Currently retired, McGregor (21-4 MMA, 9-2 UFC) is believed to be biding his time for a better deal with the UFC, which this year moved all pay-per-view events to ESPN+.
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