Irish MMA fighter Conor McGregor took the top spot in the latest Forbes highest-paid athletes list.

According to the acclaimed business magazine, during the 12-month period ending 1 May, McGregor earned $180m from both on-the-field and off-the-field projects.

Forbes said its on-the-field earnings figures include all prize money, salaries, and bonuses earned during the 12 month period.

The off-the-field earnings are an estimate of sponsorship deals, appearance fees, and licensing income.

Irish MMA fighter Conor McGregor

Irish MMA fighter Conor McGregor

McGregor was knocked out in his first UFC fight after a year-long hiatus in January 2021, but he still managed to collect an estimated $22 million for his time.

The rest of McGregor's wealth reported to be worth $158m, comes from the sale of his whiskey brand Proper No. Twelve, and his endorsement portfolio that includes DraftKings, the video game Dystopia: Contest of Heroes, and the lifestyle brand Roots of Fight.

This is the 32-year-old’s first time at No. 1 and his second appearance in the top ten, after landing at No. 4 with $99 million in 2018 after the fight against Mayweather.

Barcelona and Argentina forward Lionel Messi was second on the list and set a record as the highest-earning soccer player after bringing home $130m.

Footballer Cristiano Ronaldo earned $120m and sits third among the top 10 highest-paid athletes.

NFL quarterback Dak Prescott ($107.5m) of the Dallas Cowboys and four-times NBA champion LeBron James ($96.5m) rounded out the top five.