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Conor McGregor was the world's highest paid athlete in the past year

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In a year where most sports went on temporary hiatus, Conor McGregor found a way to profit. McGregor made $180 million over the last 12 months, making him the highest paid athlete in the world, according to Forbes.

McGregor claimed that title mostly thanks to his whiskey business. McGregor sold his Proper No. Twelve whiskey to Proximo Spirits in a deal reportedly worth $600 million. Forbes credits McGregor with $150 million as a result of the sale. Combine that with McGregor's other endorsements and his $22 million payday from fighting Dustin Poirier in January, and Forbes estimates McGregor made $180 million. 

The publication notes that McGregor made at least $158 million away from the Octagon, which puts him in elite territory. Roger Federer and Tiger Woods are the only other athletes who have earned at least $70 million away from the field while still being active in their sport. 

LeBron, Messi and Dak also make top paid list

McGregor dominated the field. Lionel Messi ranked second on Forbes' list, coming in at $130 million. Messi reportedly made $97 million of that on the field, a huge contrast to how McGregor made his money. Cristiano Ronaldo wasn't far behind, earning $120 million.

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott ranked fourth on the list, earning $107.5 million. Prescott spent the majority of the season injured, but managed to secure a four-year, $160 million extension in March. As the quarterback of the Cowboys, Prescott receives a number of endorsement opportunities, which Forbes values at $10 million.

LeBron James sits behind Prescott on the list. The Los Angeles Lakers star made $96.5 million. Like McGregor, James reached that figure away from the court, where Forbes says he made $65 million. 

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