Conor McGregor drops out of highest-paid athletes list after being No.1 last year

MMA superstar Conor McGregor just got removed from the number one spot on the highest-paid athletes list by Forbes. The new number one is none other than football star Lionel Messi.

Forbes just released their yearly Highest-Paid Athletes list. Lionel Messi has won with an estimated $130 million. Former UFC two-division champion Conor McGregor won last year thanks to the lucrative sale of his business (Proper 12).

Forbes’ highest-paid athletes list for 2022

1. Lionel Messi ($130 million)

2. LeBron James ($121.2 million)

3. Cristiano Ronaldo ($115 million)

4. Neymar ($95 million)

5. Stephen Curry ($92.8 million)

6. Kevin Durant ($92.1 million)

7. Roger Federer ($90.7 million)

8. Canelo Alvarez, Boxing ($90 million)

9. Tom Brady ($83.9 million)

10. Giannis Antetokounmpo ($80.9 million)

Conor McGregor is synonymous with MMA considering he has a lot of charisma that fuels his passionate fan base. The Irish star was able to generate PPV records.

McGregor spent much of the last 12 months on the sidelines recovering from a broken leg.

On last year’s list, Lionel Messi was at the number 2 spot with $130 million. However, in August 2021, the Argentinian signed a two-year contract with Paris Saint-Germain. The contract gave him a $41 million annual net salary plus bonuses. With this number, Messi easily outclassed a number of professional athletes.

With this new list, the only combat sports athlete who reached top ten is the pound-for-pound boxing king Canelo Alvarez. The Mexican boxer earned around $40 million from his two PPV victories last May and November.

The rest of the list is mostly filled with basketball stars such as Lebron James, Stephen Curry, and Kevin Durrant. Tennis pro Roger Federer is number 7 on the list and American football player Tom Brady came in at number number 10.

Recently, it was revealed that McGregor was absent from the USADA testing pool for approximately 8-9 months.

It is mandatory for every active UFC fighter to be a part of the testing pool for at least 6 months to be eligible to compete.

Later Ariel Helwani added that McGregor’s potential return has been pushed back and will likely happen in Q1 of 2023.

Helwani said: “We all know Conor McGregor would be the UFC’s top choice to fight Nate Diaz.”

“But the latest I was told was he may not even fight this year after all.”

“Maybe the first quarter of 2023. I always said no sooner than November, anyway.”