MMA fighter McGregor tops Forbes’ highest-paid athletes list

TORONTO — Irish mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter Conor McGregor was the world’s highest-paid athlete over the last year ahead of soccer players Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, according to the annual Forbes list released on Wednesday.

During the 12-month period ending May 1, McGregor earned $180 million, a figure which includes $158 million from endorsements and the recent sale of the majority stake of his whiskey brand, Forbes said.

Barcelona and Argentina forward Messi was second on the list and set a record as the highest-earning soccer player after bringing home $130 million while Portugal and Juventus forward Ronaldo earned $120 million to sit third among the top 10 highest-paid athletes.

National Football League quarterback Dak Prescott ($107.5 million) of the Dallas Cowboys and four-time National Basketball Association champion LeBron James ($96.5 million) rounded out the top five.

Completing the top 10 were Brazilian and Paris Saint-Germain football star Neymar ($95 million), Swiss tennis superstar Roger Federer ($90 million), top Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton ($82 million), NFL Super Bowl champion Tom Brady of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers ($76 million), and NBA All-Star Kevin Durant of the Brooklyn Nets ($75 million).

Forbes said its on-the-field earnings figures include all prize money, salaries and bonuses earned during the 12-month period while off-the-field earnings are an estimate of sponsorship deals, appearance fees and licensing income. — Reuters

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