UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor is already bragging that he has surpassed soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo as the highest paid athlete in the world.
Of course, it won’t be official until Forbes releases its annual list of “The World’s Highest-Paid Athletes,” but McGregor has never been one to wait in the shadows for the spotlight to hit him. He tends to grab hold of the spotlight and force its bright white light to follow.
McGregor ranked 24th on the Forbes list in 2017, tied with soccer star Gareth Bale at $34 million in annual pay. Of his 2017 number, as recorded by Forbes, $27 million of that was considered salary and $7 million in endorsements.
Ronaldo’s 2017 ranking listed him at No. 1 with $93 million in pay. His breakdown was $58 million in salary and $35 million in endorsements.
McGregor posted on Instagram on Monday, bragging that he surpassed Ronaldo, as he told the soccer star in 2016 that he would.
Talking first about JayZ passing Diddy on the Forbes list of “The World’s Highest-Paid Celebrities,” McGregor then said, “I am also really interested to see this years Forbes highest paid athletes list. I have now surpassed Cristiano Ronaldo as I told him I would in 2016. Floyd as a retired fighter that makes ZERO substantial revenue outside of them ropes is not on the list, and in the long game, is already dead.”
Making deals and TAKING deals! Kings recognise Kings! Congrats to @jayz on his number 1 takeover from @diddy in the highest paid Forbes list. What a take-over! Diddy hasn't been number 2 in so long. Until now. Zoom into that two tone with the powder blue on my wrist mate. You might see 1st place again. I am also really interested to see this years Forbes highest paid athletes list. I have now surpassed @cristiano Ronaldo as I told him I would in 2016. Floyd as a retired fighter that makes ZERO substantial revenue outside of them ropes is not on the list, and in the long game, is already dead. Mixed Martial Arts is a glorious game, Floyd. You are going to love it hahaha Someone tag 50cent in this for me. He blocked me on this the mad 50 year old instagram blocker. Ahh don't block me 50 kid, I still like some of your songs. The older ones hahah King bless you all! @burgerking
The Forbes 2018 World’s Highest-Paid Athlete list has yet to be revealed – that usually happens in June – so McGregor doesn’t have the hard facts yet to back up his claim, but considering the year he had, it wouldn’t be outside the realm of possibility that he would, in fact, surpass Ronaldo.
Despite not having set foot in the UFC’s Octagon in 2017, McGregor competed in the most high-profile fight of his career, landing a spectacle of a boxing match with undefeated former world champion Floyd Mayweather. The bout was McGregor’s professional boxing debut.
Mayweather vs. McGregor became one of the highest grossing single-day sporting events in history with a massive world tour promoting it and drawing gaudy numbers across the board.
McGregor is believed to have earned somewhere in the neighborhood of $100 million for the bout, and with all the of the side businesses and endorsements he’s landed, largely in part because of the Mayweather vs. McGregor blockbuster, it wouldn’t be at all surprising for him to rocket up the list.