Conor McGregor told Cristiano Ronaldo he would catch him on Forbes list in 2016

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If Conor McGregor needs a new job when he hangs up the gloves, the Irishman might want to look into fortune telling.

Rewinding back to 2016, the then-85th highest paid athlete in the world had a word with that year’s top dog, Cristiano Ronaldo.

McGregor promised the footballing legend that he would one day surpass him in the earnings department and cement his place on top of the income mountain.

The exchange came during a Ronaldo visit to McGregor’s training camp for his second bout with Nate Diaz that year.

“You were number one of the Forbes list, I was like number 35 or something. I’ll get up. Maybe next year I’ll get you,” McGregor said.

“I don’t think so,” Ronaldo replied.

It seemed laughable at the time given the wide berth between their respective listings.

Fast forward five years and Conor McGregor has just been revealed as the number one earner for 2020.

Despite most industries being ravaged by the Covid-19 pandemic last year, plenty of athletes still secured themselves a pretty penny or two.

McGregor netted a staggering $180 million in 2020. Interestingly, the vast majority of his cash flow came from ventures outside of the ring, namely his Proper No. 12 whiskey brand which raked in $158 million.

McGregor fought just once last year, picking up a first round victory over Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone.

For his efforts, the former champ-champ was paid $22 million. Somewhere, Jon Jones must have been fuming…

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‘The Notorious’ surpassed several living legends in the sports world to crack the top. Along with Ronaldo (who placed third with $120 million), he also out-earned the likes of Lionel Messi (second with $130 million) and LeBron James (fifth with $96.5 million).

Given his recent sale of his majority stake in Proper No. 12 and his big money bouts with Dustin Poirier, McGregor is already well on his way to topping the 2021 list as well.

Returning to the Octagon at UFC 257, McGregor suffered the first KO defeat of his illustrious career at the hands of ‘The Diamond’.

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Poirier dissected McGregor’s curious choice of stance in the fight to bring him to the mat before punching the Irishman’s lights out in a dominating display. With one win a piece, the pair are set for battle one more time.

It’s a been a topsy turvy road to get there between Poirier backing out of a lightweight title bout for the money match and the McGregor-Good Fight Foundation controversy.

With the clash pencilled in for UFC 264 on July 10, expect these two to give it their all to likely decide who will get a crack at the lightweight gold in the fall.

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