Conor McGregor – the UFC’s greatest star – is a real rags to riches story. Picture / Getty
Conor McGregor’s alarm would go off at 5am. He’d drag himself out of the spare room in his mum’s home he was sharing along with his girlfriend and stroll in the dead of night, freezing chilly Dublin morning till he reached a close-by freeway.
After being collected from a pick-up level, he’d spend 12 hours engaged on constructing websites as a plumber earlier than heading house and doing it once more the subsequent day.
As we speak that very same man wakes because the richest athlete on the earth.
McGregor’s inspiring rags-to-riches story reached a brand new excessive on Thursday when he topped Forbes’ checklist of the world’s highest-earning sports activities individuals.
The monetary journal estimated the UFC famous person had raked in additional than $200 million in 2020, which noticed him surpass the likes of final yr’s No. 1 Roger Federer and perennial contenders Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.
It is a staggering consequence given McGregor was nonetheless gathering $280 social welfare cheques the week earlier than his UFC debut in 2013.
McGregor defeated his opponent in simply 67 seconds in his first struggle within the greatest blended martial arts promotion on the earth, incomes him an additional $60,000 USD for a knockout of the night time bonus to go along with the $8000 he was paid to look and an added $8000 he earned by successful.
It was extra money for a minute’s work than he’d ever earned in his life and the primary stepping stone in his rise to the highest.
Eighteen months later he appeared on pay-per-view for the primary time and pulled in $200,000 as he shortly completed Dustin Poirier of their first bout.
However that shortly regarded like pocket change after he began headlining playing cards and successful belts. He began making tens of millions in wins in opposition to Chad Mendes and Jose Aldo earlier than changing into the UFC’s highest-paid fighter throughout his two fights in opposition to Nate Diaz and coming into the Forbes prime 100 for the primary time.
The achievement clearly meant one thing to the Irishman and he started plotting his method up the rankings.
He broke the document for the largest gate in UFC historical past whereas successful the light-weight championship in opposition to Eddie Alvarez and off the again of that historic occasion jumped to twenty fourth the next yr.
McGregor had the likes of Ronaldo — who topped the 2017 checklist — in his sights and even advised the soccer famous person he’d catch him quickly.
However to do this he wanted to step exterior the cage to essentially maximise his incomes potential.
Studying the cash recreation from Mayweather
McGregor has by no means actually complained about the best way he is been remunerated by the UFC, which is commonly criticised by the boxing world for the comparatively smaller pay packets its fighters earn.
They’ve had squabbles over contracts sometimes however the promotion has largely handled its golden goose like he deserves to be handled.
The most important instance of this was when McGregor was in a position to leverage his hovering recognition by forcing UFC president Dana White to arrange a boxing match in opposition to Floyd Mayweather in 2017.
It is the one time White has ever allowed a fighter below contract to compete exterior his banner, nevertheless it made sense for all concerned as Mayweather made $280 million, McGregor pulled in $130 million and the UFC additionally took a slice.
It was sufficient to push McGregor to fourth on the Forbes checklist behind runaway chief Mayweather and Messi and Ronaldo.
“If I had of fought on the agreed Could twelfth bout in Rio de Janeiro, I might have surpassed Ronaldo and Messi to take 2nd place,” McGregor wrote on the time. “One thing got here up nevertheless … Ah nicely, nonetheless below 30.”
However moderately than being the subsequent step on his method to changing into numero uno it truly sparked a slide.
Out of the blue blessed with riches he’d by no means imagined McGregor’s urge for food for competing appeared to dim and his life away from sport was plagued with controversy and run-ins with the regulation.
A stroke of inspiration amid the turmoil
With none struggle purses as he went two years with out competing within the UFC, McGregor tumbled to 53rd on the Forbes checklist.
However amid the turmoil he made a vital determination that may arrange the largest payday of his life — moving into the whiskey enterprise.
McGregor co-founded Correct No. Twelve and used his unimaginable social media attain to make the model an on the spot hit.
Regardless of solely sporadic appearances within the cage, it turned McGregor’s meal ticket as he offered his stake within the firm for 9 figures and at last claimed prime spot on the checklist he’d been monitoring for years.
McGregor is but to react to the information as he continues to organize for his trilogy bout in opposition to Dustin Poirier in July from his 2021 base within the Center East.