Conor McGregor’s rise to the top continues to show no sign of slowing down, as the UFC superstar just appeared on the Forbes 100 Highest Paid Athletes list for 2017. McGregor made history last year as the first UFC fighter to ever appear on the list, making it to #85 in 2016 with $10 million in fight purses and $4 million in endorsements. This year he’s jumped a staggering 61 spots to #24 with $27 million in fight purses and $7 million in endorsements.
That’s still a long way away from the top five, where NBA stars like Kevin Durant and LeBron James are pulling $60.6 million and $86.2 million respectively. But McGregor could end up blowing past them if a fight with Floyd Mayweather materializes later this year as expected. While a purse split between Conor and Floyd hasn’t been settled yet, UFC president Dana White recently said he expected McGregor to make around $75 million dollars off the bout.
McGregor stepped away from the camp he’s already started to prepare for Mayweather to fact check that number, saying he’ll make over $100 million. And with recent major endorsement deals with companies like Beats By Dre, we believe him.
The fight between McGregor and Mayweather would be so big that they’d possibly take the #1 and #2 spots on the list. That’s not a bad accomplishment for Conor, who was cashing welfare checks up until his arrival in the UFC. Unfortunately, he’ll probably have to be content with second place, as he’ll be carving out a not insignificant chunk of his purse and giving it directly to the UFC for the right to fight outside of the organization.