It’s no secret that high-profile athletes get paid obscene amounts of money to do their job. Footballers, Formula One drivers, basketball players, you name it, if they’re the best at their craft, they’re going to be paid millions of dollars every year.
But, while the vast majority of money talk tends to revolve around footballers – French national footballer Paul Pogba has just recently been offered a mammoth £500,000 per week by Manchester United, for instance, the highest salary ever seen in the English Premier League – their earnings pale in comparison to those of MMA fighter Conor McGregor in 2021. At least, when you take into account the number of minutes they were active.
Conor McGregor’s Instagram account recently shared a table of earnings of the world’s highest-paid athletes in 2021, based on earnings per minute. It references the likes of NFL talisman Tom Brady, Brazilian superstar Neymar and arguably the greatest footballer ever, Cristiano Ronaldo. Some serious talent, we think you’ll agree.
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But Conor is the real winner here, with a staggering $8.6 million earned per minute of active time in 2021, making him the highest-earning athlete of the year. Boxer Canelo Alvarez comes in second place, with earnings of $444,000 per minute. The greatest payday ever? We think so. And it goes some way to explain how Conor happily wears his million-dollar watches to workout with.
The earnings data was supplied by Online Betting Guide (via BJPenn), who added Conor spent just 12 minutes 32 seconds inside the octagon in 2021, facing off against UFC rival Dustin Poirier across two separate bouts. This makes his total 2021 earnings just from UFC fights around $103,630,000.
It was the second of these fights, in July, that saw Conor break his ankle. In the months since he has undergone some serious rehabilitation and training to get himself back into fighting-fit shape.
He’s promised he’ll be back and intends to return to the octagon sometime in 2022. And, considering the sheer amount of muscle he’s put on in recent months, we expect he’ll be looking to bounce back from the two defeats he suffered against Poirier in 2021.
Make no mistake, we’re pretty certain Conor would have preferred to have more fighting minutes last year, but considering he managed to make some serious cash regardless, we imagine his time off would have been pretty cushty.