Conor McGregor: The Biggest Baller in Mixed Martial Art’s History

Conor McGregor
via Andrius Petrucenia / CC BY 2.0

In 2013, the UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship) and the world of Mixed Martial Arts would change as we know it. A newcomer to the combat sports world would become an oh-so-familiar face on our T.V screens when ‘The Notorious’ Conor McGregor made his debut. It took Conor 67 seconds to make his first impact when he knocked out Featherweight opponent Marcus Brimage. The debut fight on the big screen was over, but the egotistical yet honest –flamboyant personality of Conor McGregor would draw a whole new world of attention to the UFC and MMA in general.

Fast-forward 7-years and Conor McGregor is the highest-paid mixed martial artist, business owner & family-man. Financially; life for Conor has dramatically changed, but we believe he’s just getting started. In 2019 Forbes list, Conor was 67th and his true net worth is estimated between 92- 161 million dollars, certifying his baller status hasn’t taken the Irishman long.

From Humble Beginnings

Born and raised in blue-collar city Dublin, Ireland; it wasn’t always Rolls Royce & customized suits for McGregor. In fact, upon arrival to the UFC, he was claiming a welfare cheque with nothing but ambitions to be the most successful fighter on the planet. A failed attempt at plumbing career led McGregor to the gym full-time, and it wasn’t long until he was claiming championships in multiple divisions for British MMA organization ‘Cage Warriors’.

A debut ‘Performance of the Night’ bonus for the UFC would propel McGregor from $1000 per month cheque to a $60,000 tap on the back. The 13-0 win streak for McGregor continued to get bigger, followed by his bank account.

Dana White & the UFC’s Cash Cow

Once McGregor added Max Holloway, Dustin Poirier, Dennis Siver, & Chad Mendes to his high-light reel and accumulated a worldwide fan base with his on-screen antics, he’d proved himself in the UFC Featherweight division to earn himself a title opportunity at the undefeated Brazilian king… Jose Aldo! Within his success during this time, he’d added countless other income revenues and bonus cheques to his bank account. Since his injury following the Max Holloway fight, Reebok would find the use of McGregor’s newfound fame and paid him an extra $35,000 per fight. Chump change in comparison to what was to come. Reebok recently renewed their deal with McGregor that would see him earn 6.5 million dollars per year.

Highest Earning UFC Bouts

A 13-second knockout win over Jose Aldo in the hostile territory of Brazil began the wave of huge profit that McGregor would begin to earn. A whopping 12 million was earnt during his feud with Aldo. Another historical rivalry and record-breaking money-maker were McGregor’s two fights with Nate Diaz. A combined 40 million was made in the back to back contests with Diaz. Keep in mind; these earnings were all prior to McGregor’s highest-earning MMA fight against Khabib Nurmagomedov. It’s been estimated that McGregor’s UFC earnings were around 100 million dollars even before the Khabib bout.

Money Mayweather

After claiming two UFC championships in two different weight classes, McGregor set his sights on the boxing ring and undefeated boxing legend…Floyd Mayweather.

The biggest payday of them all wouldn’t be held in the familiarity of an octagon, in 2017 McGregor took on Floyd Mayweather in a cross-promotional boxing contest which ended in McGregor losing. The fight would break box office pay-per-view records and go down as one of the biggest sporting events in history. McGregor reportedly earnt somewhere in the region of 30-100 million dollars, and with the popularity of the event, we’d see McGregor launched into a realm of money and business he’d never known before.

With his fame and fortunes followed more fame and fortune. Beats by Dre, Monster Energy, Calvin Klein, and Bud Light would join the growing list of brand’s pleading with McGregor to work alongside their companies. He also launched his own clothing line, August McGregor further adding to his long-list of accomplishments.

That year, Forbes would name McGregor the fourth highest-paid athlete with his annual earnings reaching an incredible $99 million. Not quite the same as his help in hand Mayweather but certainly a step-up from those welfare cheques.

Khabib Nurmagomedov & Proper Twelve Irish Whiskey

Conor McGregor vs Khabib Nurmagomedov
via Public Domain

2018 would be another record-breaking year for the Irishman. 2.4 million Pay-per-view buyers would be sat in their seats with anticipation when Conor McGregor would face Khabib Nurmagomedov for the UFC Lightweight championship. To this day, it remains the highest-selling UFC PPV of all time and McGregor was estimated to have earnt anywhere up to 50 million dollars from this event.

In conjunction with his return to the octagon from the boxing ring, McGregor had dipped his pockets into the liquor business. Proper Twelve Irish whiskey hit the shelves conveniently as McGregor made his return to the UFC. Selling in multiple countries across the world, the Irish whiskey distiller sold around 200,000 cases since its launch.

Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone & 2020

The rags to riches story of Conor McGregor continues as his stock is rising by the day. This past weekend marked the return of McGregor to the active UFC roster as he faced Donald Cerrone. And in typical Conor McGregor style, he won the fight via first-round TKO, but that wasn’t a surprise to anyone considering he was -350 on the UFC odds boards. His base salary for the contest was 3 million but it’s been said that Conor could take anywhere up to 80 million dollars depending on the PPV numbers (final numbers have yet to be released).

McGregor promised that 2020 will be an active one in terms of octagon activity and with a wealth of opponents waiting in the distance, where will 2020 lead the ‘Notorious One’… who knows? But one thing is certain; his bank account will continue to surge, as will the baller status he’s achieved.

As of January 20th 2020, Conor McGregor’s total estimated earnings are estimated in the region of 235 million dollars with a net worth of 110 million dollars.