Conor McGregor is the face of Mixed Martial Arts. The 35-year-old from Crumlin, Dublin Ireland is also the wealthiest man in the history of the sport.
McGregor has fought only four times since 2016 but he remains the sport’s biggest star. The Irishman is currently coaching opposite Michael Chandler in The Ultimate Fighter Season 31 tournament and is reported to be fighting after the conclusion of the reality TV show.
Despite McGregor not being as busy as he used to be, he is still the richest MMA fighter in the world. According to an April 2023 article from wealthygorilla.com, McGregor is worth $110 million, which is twice as much as the next person on the list, Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Grand Master and UFC co-founder Rorian Gracie, who has a net worth of $50 million.
At websites LADbible, Sporting News, and Sportskeeda, the Irishman’s net worth is pegged at a higher $200 million. But regardless of either amount, an MMA fighter worth 9 figures was unheard of before McGregor entered the MMA picture.
World’s Highest-Paid Athlete in 2021
2021 was a banner year for The Notorious as he topped the Forbes list of The Top 10 highest-paid athletes of 2021. It marked the first time that the Irishman topped the list and it was his second appearance after earning $99 million in 2018.
At $180 million made in 2021, McGregor was $50 million ahead of football player Lionel Messi who was No. 2. Messi’s rival Cristiano Ronaldo came in third with $120 million while NFL quarterback Dak Prescott was the only other athlete in 2021 to earn at least $100 million with $107.5 million.
Most of McGregor’s money, however, came from the sale of his majority stake in Proper No. Twelve Whiskey to Proximo Spirits. Adding his endorsement deals, The Notorious made $158 million off the cage in 2021 to become only the third athlete after Rodger Federer and Tiger Woods to earn more than $70 million off the field in a single year. McGregor added $22 million for his UFC 257 bout against Dustin Poirier.
Chasing Michael Jordan
After McGregor lost to Poirier in Dubai, the two rematched six months later at UFC 264 in Las Vegas. McGregor lost again but due to injury as he suffered a broken tibia. With The Notorious spending most of the year recuperating, he dropped to No. 35 on the 2022 Forbes Top 10 list with $48 million.
McGregor has not fought since then and he didn’t appear in the 2023 Forbes list. Despite that, McGregor isn’t losing sight of his ambition. During an interview with Megan Olivi, McGregor mentioned that his goal is to become a billionaire and supplant Michael Jordan as the richest man in the history of sports.
“It’s motivating, Michael Jordan’s at the top spot, obviously with the Jordan brand that took him there, he’s worth multiple billions. I think it’s $3.3b he’s made,” said McGregor. “I’m closing in on a billion, I think I’m at about $650 million all in that I’ve made.”