Conor McGregor edges out Lionel Messi to top Forbes' Athletes Rich List

'The ten highest-paid athletes in the world took home pretax gross earnings of $1.05 billion during the past 12 months, 28% more than last year's top earners,' Forbes stated.

Conor McGregor has claimed the number one spot on Forbes' highest-paid athlete list from the past 12 months for the first time of his career.

The Notorious reportedly made $150 million from his sale of whiskey brand Proper 12 to Proximo Spirits alongside a $22 million pay day for his second-round defeat to Dustin Poirier at UFC 257.

His total earnings saw him finish above soccer stars Lionel Messi [$130m] and Cristiano Ronaldo [$120m], in second and third place respectively.

He is the first UFC fighter to top the list as well as the first Irishman to do it.

McGregor is also just the third athlete that has made more than $70 million outside of the sport he is competing in.

Tiger Woods and Roger Federer are the other two to have exceeded the amount.

Lifestyle brand Roots of Fight, video game Dystopia: Contest of Heroes and energy drink Monster Energy are just some of the products McGregor has endorsed.

Lewis Hamilton, fresh from his victory at the Spanish Grand Prix, is in eighth position with a fortune of $82 million - $70 million was made from being on the track.

The seven-time world champion returns to the top 10 for a second time in his career having previously landed in 10th place in 2017.

His 11 wins last season profited him a nice bonus alongside his lucrative sponsorship deals with Tommy Hilfiger and Puma.

Tom Brady, LeBron James, Dak Prescott, Kevin Durant, Neymar and Federer also make Forbes' list.

Federer - last year's biggest earner - made an incredible $90 million despite being sidelined from the court because of a knee injury.

The earnings are worked out from the first week of May 2020 to the first week of May 2021 and it calculates prize money, salaries, sponsorship deals and bonuses.

'The ten highest-paid athletes in the world took home pretax gross earnings of $1.05 billion during the past 12 months, 28% more than last year's top earners,' Forbes stated.

'The combined haul falls just a few million short of the $1.06 billion record set in 2018, the 12-month window in which boxer Floyd Mayweather earned $285 million, almost all of it from his 2017 pay-per-view fight with Conor McGregor.