Top-Earning Athlete Made Most of His $180M From Whiskey

Conor McGregor tops list for a second time
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted May 12, 2021 6:02 PM CDT
With $180M, McGregor Tops List of Highest-Paid Athletes
Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott is the highest-earning American on the list.   (AP Photo/Michael Ainsworth, File)

The world's highest-paid athlete spent less than eight minutes competing in his sport in the last 12 months—but still took home $180 million. UFC star Conor McGregor, who lost his January fight against Dustin Poirier at 2:32 in the second round, tops this year's Forbes list. The 32-year-old Irishman, at No. 1 for the second time, made $22 million from the Poirier fight, but he made a lot more from his whisky business, Forbes notes. He sold his majority stake in whiskey brand Proper No. Twelve to Proximo Spirits for $150 million last month. In July, McGregor, who defeated Poirier in 2014, plans to take him on again in Las Vegas.

The pandemic apparently had little effect on earnings at the highest level of sport: This is the first time the top four highest-paid athletes all made more than $100 million, CBS reports. The rest of the list:

  1. Soccer: Lionel Messi, Barcelona, $130 million
  2. Soccer: Christiano Ronaldo, Juventus, $120 million
  3. Football: Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys, $107.5 million
  4. Basketball: LeBron James, Los Angeles Lakers, $96.5 million
  5. Soccer: Neymar, Paris Saint-Germain, $95 million
  6. Tennis: Roger Federer, $90 million
  7. F1: Lewis Hamilton, $82 million
  8. Football: Tom Brady, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, $76 million
  9. Basketball: Kevin Durant, Brooklyn Nets, $75 million
(More Conor McGregor stories.)

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