The Irish brawler is the world's richest and most entertaining MMA fighter
Conor McGregor is arguably the most entertaining athlete in the world right now. “The Notorious” mixed martial artist is also the richest MMA fighter around, with a reported net worth between $85 million and $108 million, depending on who’s doing the math. That number is only going to go up after the UFC 229 main event fight against lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
The 30-year-old from Dublin, Ireland, hasn’t fought in an Ultimate Fighting Championship event since UFC 205 in 2016. But just because McGregor hasn’t been in the octagon doesn’t mean he’s been away from the spotlight — or the fight game.
Last summer, McGregor squared off in a boxing ring against undefeated light-middleweight champion Floyd “Money” Mayweather Jr. in a fight dubbed “The Money Fight” and “The Biggest Fight in Combat Sports History.” Although McGregor was making his boxing debut against a CompuBox tactician with a 49–0 record in Mayweather, the Irish southpaw held his own and earned the respect of many boxing purists before losing via TKO in the 10th round.
McGregor made “around” $100 million for the Showtime pay-per-view spectacle against Mayweather. To put that figure in perspective, McGregor has reportedly earned $23.2 million in prize money since joining UFC in April 2013 (and $109.8 million from fighting Mayweather), according to a rundown of fight purses compiled by the UK site Express.
The red-bearded Dubliner whose charismatic machismo knows no match on the mic also has roughly $10 million in endorsement deals with Beats by Dre, Burger King, Playstation, Game of War, Jockey and Anheuser-Busch, while also previously serving as a spokesman or brand ambassador for Rolls Royce luxury automobiles, Monster Energy sports drinks and Bud Light beer.
At UFC 229, McGregor carries a 21–3–0 record into his fight with the undefeated 26–0–0 Nurmagomedov. Both men are 30 years old and weight 155 pounds, while McGregor has the reach advantage (74 inches to 70 inches) and his Russian counterpart has a slight height advantage (5’10” to 5’9”). Although no numbers are official, McGregor is expected to earn “eight figures” for fighting Nurmagomedov.
Undeniably the brightest star in MMA — and boxing, if he chooses — McGregor has headlined some of the most lucrative fights in UFC history. Most recently, he claimed the UFC Lightweight Championship after defeating Eddie Alvarez by TKO at UFC 205. (McGregor’s belt was stripped, however, due to inactivity.) Prior to that, his two fights against Nate Diaz in UFC 202 and UFC 196 were classic welterweight bouts. And who could forget McGregor’s 13-second knockout punch of Jose Aldo to win and unify the UFC Featherweight Championship at UFC 194?
But McGregor hasn’t just been stacking money. He’s also taken a few losses due to his “Notorious” temper. In April, McGregor was arrested and charged with assault and criminal mischief after throwing a dolly into a bus and injuring two rival MMA fighters inside.
“You can imagine he’s going to be sued beyond belief,” said UFC President Dana White, after the incident. “This was a real bad career move for him. Right now? No. I mean, do you want to be in business with Conor McGregor right now?”
It turns out, yes. UFC and White definitely want to be in business with Conor McGregor right now. Love him or loathe him, McGregor is the most captivating personality in MMA and everyone associated with him is about to make a lot of money at UFC 229, even though — much like the Mayweather fight — McGregor appears overmatched against a favored, undefeated champion.
Win or lose, Conor McGregor will be worth at least $100 million after UFC 229. “The Notorious” is one of the most bankable athletes in sports because he’s provocative, charismatic and he never backs down from a fight — in the MMA octagon, in the boxing ring or against a moving bus full of professional fighters.