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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

(Newser) – 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.

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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
(Read more Conor McGregor stories.)

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