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Conor McGregor becomes UFC's top earner, makes Forbes' 100 highest paid athletes list for 2016

Esther Lin

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) featherweight champion Conor McGregor had a rough couple of months, but don't break out the Irish Kleenex just yet.

While his performance against Nate Diaz in the UFC 196 main event was nothing to brag about, "Notorious" will undoubtedly be content with his place atop Forbes 100 Highest Paid Athletes list for 2016, coming in at No. 85 with $22 million.

Here's why (and how):

UFC star Conor McGregor fought three times over the past 12 months, including headlining two of the three best-selling UFC fights ever on pay-per-view. UFC 194 where McGregor knocked out Jose Aldo in 13 seconds had 1.2 million buys. McGregor lost to Nate Diaz at UFC 196 (their rematch will be at UFC 202 in August) which sold a massive 1.5 million units. His cut of PPV revenue pushed McGregor's earnings in the Octagon to $18 million. The Irishman also banked an estimated $4 million outside the Octagon through appearances and endorsement partners Reebok, Fanatics, Monster Energy, BSN, Bud Light, Rolls Royce and Electronic Arts.


McGregor will look to add to that pot when he rematches Diaz in the UFC 202 headliner this August (more on that here). Depending on the outcome, as well as his health, "Notorious" could return for UFC 205, which mark's the promotion's debut in New York City.

His performance there could earn him roughly $32,000 per second.

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