million dollar baby | 

Conor McGregor declared the biggest earning athlete - per minute - in 2021

It took Conor McGregor just seven seconds to earn $1 million
Conor McGregor. Picture: Arthur Carron

Conor McGregor. Picture: Arthur Carron

Neil Fetherstonhaugh

It took Conor McGregor just seven seconds to earn $1 million, making him the biggest earner, per minute, amongst all athletes in 2021, a new study reveals.

The Notorious who topped the Forbes list of highest-paid athletes in 2020, saw two pay-per-view headline events in 2021 bring in a whopping 38 per cent of the UFC’s total PPV sales last year.

UFC 257 that saw McGregor stopped by Dustin Poirier in January earned 1.6 million buys, while UFC 264, also featuring the American brought in 1.8 million, resulting in what UFC president Dana White has described as the promotion’s most successful calendar year ever.

According to, a new study investigating earnings per minute by athletes across all sport, McGregor earned a total of $8,695,652 per minute for his in-cage activity over the last 12 months, meaning it took him just seven seconds to earn $1 million.

That compares to Canelo Alvarez, who hit $444,444 per minute, Tom Brady at $37,500 per minute and Cristiano Ronaldo at $18,662 a minute.

For each man to earn a million dollars, that’s two minutes 15 seconds, 26 minutes 40 seconds, and 53 million respectively.

Last May, McGregor celebrated in style after he was crowned the highest paid athlete in the world by Forbes Magazine.

The UFC star (32) brought in earnings of $180M (€149M) over the last year and beat Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo for the top spot on the Forbes list.

The achievement called for a celebration, and McGregor’s long-term partner Dee Devlin and their two children, Conor Jr and Croia, threw him a party to mark the occasion.

Dee posted photos of McGregor admiring a bunch of gold balloons with ‘#1’ and ‘Proud of you’ printed on them, as well as a cake with a photo of the MMA legend’s Forbes cover designed in icing.

She captioned her Instagram post: “Success is no accident, it’s hard work. We are so proud of you!!!”

McGregor also shared an Instagram post to celebrate his ranking on the Forbes list, showing off photos of the balloons and cake.

He wrote: “Baby we did it!! Uimhir a haon.

“Thank you Forbes for recognising my role as an entrepreneur! It was a dream to lead this list with so many successful athletes

“Onwards and upwards we go,” the Dubliner added

McGregor collected an estimated $22M (€18M) in January for his appearance at UFC 257 where he was knocked out of his first UFC fight in a year by Dustin Poirer.

His biggest earnings, however, came from his recent sale of his majority stake in whiskey brand Proper No. Twelve to Proximo Spirits for a whopping $150M (€123M).

He is only the third athlete, after Roger Federer and Tiger Woods, to earn more than $70 million off the field in a single year while still actively competing, Forbes said.

Today's Headlines

More Celebrity

Download the Sunday World app

Now download the free app for all the latest Sunday World News, Crime, Irish Showbiz and Sport. Available on Apple and Android devices