McGregor becomes first MMA star to top Forbes’ highest paid athlete list

Photo by Mike Lawrie/Getty Images

Conor McGregor has topped Forbes’ 2021 highest paid athletes list. For years, Conor McGregor has always said that he wanted to top the Forbes’ highest paid athletes list. In 2021, the U…


Floyd Mayweather Jr. v Conor McGregor World Press Tour - New York
Photo by Mike Lawrie/Getty Images

Conor McGregor has topped Forbes’ 2021 highest paid athletes list.

For years, Conor McGregor has always said that he wanted to top the Forbes’ highest paid athletes list. In 2021, the UFC star finally did it.

According to Forbes’ estimates, McGregor took home $180 million in the past 12 months (from May 1, 2020 to May 1, 2021), making him the first ever MMA fighter to top the list.

Majority of that figure comes from his lucrative buyout, after Proper Twelve whiskey was purchased by Becle, the company known for Tequila brand Jose Cuervo. According to Forbes’ estimates, McGregor made $150 million for selling his ownership stake, and made an additional $8 million in sponsorships.

McGregor only fought once in that time span, losing by KO to Dustin Poirier. Forbes estimates that he made $22 million for that fight.

It’s worth noting that the UFC anti-trust lawsuit has revealed a lot of financial information, and it showed that Forbes’ previous estimates for McGregor’s past purses were inaccurate and significantly inflated. It’s also curious that they estimated McGregor to have made $32 million to fight Cerrone in 2020, then supposedly earned $10 million less for his next bout with Poirier, which was far more successful on pay-per-view.

That being said, the $150 million from the massive Proper Twelve sale alone pretty much guaranteed McGregor would top this list either way.

Second and third on the list are football megastars in Lionel Messi ($130M) and Cristiano Ronaldo ($120M). They do have lucrative sponsorship deals, but majority of Messi and Ronaldo’s earnings came from salaries from their sport ($97M and $70M, respectively).

Jones shuts down Miocic bout in latest string of deleted tweets

Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Jon Jones is not interested in facing Stipe Miocic. Dana White recently gave an update on Jon Jones, saying that UFC Chief Business Officer Hunter Campbell has a better rel…


Jon Jones makes his walk to the ring for UFC 247.
Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Jon Jones is not interested in facing Stipe Miocic.

Dana White recently gave an update on Jon Jones, saying that UFC Chief Business Officer Hunter Campbell has a better relationship with the former champion and will be the one handling negotiations.

The UFC President says Campbell and Jones will meet soon, and also suggested booking a possible bout against Stipe Miocic. While many seemed interested in the potential title eliminator, Jones completely shut down the idea of facing the two-time UFC heavyweight champion next.

Jones addressed the possible bout like he usually does these days: with a string of tweets that were quickly deleted.

“Don’t get excited people, I’m not fighting Stipe,” Jones wrote, before reiterating that he is only interested in facing Francis Ngannou.

“I’m not here to fight Stipe but I will defend my belt against him no problem. I’m looking for the biggest draw and I’m willing to wait. 33 years old in better athlete right now than I’ve ever been before.. I’m just going to keep training my ass off”

“I’m sick of hearing the same shit, you’re not a big enough star, you don’t bring in enough paper view [sic]. I’m ready to fight fights that will bring in the pay-per-view. The world wants to see some black on black crime right now and I’m ready to give it to them”

Jones, who recently parted ways with his long-term MMA management team, also announced that he is looking for new representation.

Jones has been discussing a heavyweight move for quite some time now, but has hit roadblocks while trying to negotiate with the UFC. They seemed far apart on monetary figures the last time they took things public, but it will be interesting to see if Jones getting new representation and UFC sending Campbell will finally help get things done.

Sanchez had to ‘disown some family members’ to stay ‘loyal’ to Fabia

Photo by Todd Lussier/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Diego Sanchez is adamant that he isn’t being conned. As more and more former teammates, fighters and coaches speak out and express concern for Diego Sanchez, the MMA legen…


Diego Sanchez had to cut ties with family to stay loyal with Joshua Fabia.
Photo by Todd Lussier/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Diego Sanchez is adamant that he isn’t being conned.

As more and more former teammates, fighters and coaches speak out and express concern for Diego Sanchez, the MMA legend has only continued to push back and express his “loyalty” for his controversial “guru” in Joshua Fabia. The original TUF winner is adamant he isn’t being manipulated, and he isn’t being conned.

According to Sanchez, all the criticism towards Fabia are just brainwashing as part of an expensive hidden agenda being pushed by the UFC to try and silence them. He also blames this anti-Fabia “agenda” as a reason he had to show his loyalty and cut ties with concerned family members.

“Being open and honest, I think that’s one big factor about me and Joshua… and also loyalty,” Sanchez said in a recent interview. “I’ve been loyal in not giving up on this guy. Not believing the bullshit of the internet. Even to the point where I’m having to — I’m having family members that, I’m having to disown some family members because it’s that hard. The agenda is so hard, so pushed so hard!

“I’ve got my own family members telling me that they know better than me for my life. They’re telling me ‘get that guy — he’s conning you! He’s gonna f—k your whole life up! Get him out of your life!’ And these people are like ‘This is happening. This is real.’”

It’s worth pointing out that in 2019, coach Mike Winkeljohn also initially claimed that the moment he “tried to figure out what he was doing and tried to challenge him” about Fabia’s training methods, “we were all fired.” Sanchez went on to have Fabia run everything in his career as his lone coach, manager, cornerman, nutritionist and guru.

As Sanchez tells it, he met Fabia at the lowest point of his life, dealing with divorce, addiction and mental health issues, while also feeling under-appreciated in his longterm JacksonWink gym. He says Fabia knew all this, and came in to “help” him.

“This poor guy had his reputation shit on,” Sanchez said. “This guy is (labeled as) a con artist, manipulator, when really, the truth of the story is, this is just the only guy that came around! There was no one else to help me, man! This is one guy that could give me some time and energy! Sacrificed from his own life to help me! Because he knew I was f—ked, he knew I was getting f—ked! He’s seen it! He came into my life. He helped me. He didn’t want to do this MMA s—t.

“(Fabia) not only protect me, teach me how to heal myself, teach me how to get standing straight up again. It’s everything.”

As Sanchez alluded to, Fabia also calls himself a “healer.” Apart from claims about his martial arts skills, his official website also states that Fabia’s “journey as a healer and guide began at just nine years old,” helping his grandfather to “a remarkable 85% full recovery” after a heart attack and brain aneurysm.

Sanchez released footage of arguments Fabia had with UFC staff that eventually led to his retirement fight being scrapped and being unceremoniously released from the promotion. This was followed by even more troubling video, showing Fabia repeatedly punching, slapping and kicking Sanchez in the head, which was supposedly a daily routine so that Sanchez “understands impact.”

A combination of all these things have sparked a lot of concern from many fighters, coaches, fans — and apparently also Sanchez’s own family. The longest tenured UFC fighter maintains that the criticisms aren’t valid, everyone else is wrong, and Fabia is just being unfairly slandered by the promotion.

Swollen shut! Watch Canelo vs Saunders fight highlights

Photo by Omar Vega/Getty Images

Watch footage from the boxing bout between Canelo and Saunders. Four division champion Canelo Alvarez took on two division champ Billy Joe Saunders to unify the super middleweight titles. …


Canelo Alvarez punches Billy Joe Saunders during their fight at the AT&T Stadium
Photo by Omar Vega/Getty Images

Watch footage from the boxing bout between Canelo and Saunders.

Four division champion Canelo Alvarez took on two division champ Billy Joe Saunders to unify the super middleweight titles. The arguable top pound-for-pound boxer today in Canelo came in as a sizable favorite, and while it was pretty competitive during the middle rounds, Saunders took big shots in the 8th and eventually did not go out for the 9th round.

Canelo is awarded with the TKO victory, and he now holds the WBO, WBA, WBC and Ring super-middleweight belts.

Watch footage from the championship bout, along with a snippet from our play-by-play of the contest.

Canelo Alvarez vs. Billy Joe Saunders, Round 8

Saunders ducks under a big right. Saunders with a combo and one gets through. He clinches. Saunders misses with his own uppercut. Canelo lands to the body. Saunders clinches. Canelo with a huge right counter! Saunders wa wobbled! Huge body shot from Canelo! He’s bringing it now!!Two big lefts and Canelo plays to the crowd! Saunders covers up. He stopped jabbing. Saunders’ eye is swelling. Canelo with a straight right. Body shot! Saunders pauses. HUGE ROUND FROM CANELO! 10-9 Canelo.

SAUNDERS NEVER GETS OFF THE STOOL!!! CANELO HAS TAKEN OUT BILLY JOE SAUNDERS AND HOLDS THREE BELTS AT 168!!!

Saul Alvarez defeated Billy Joe Saunders via TKO, 3:00 of round 8

Fabia accuses White and Shelby of sleeping with female fighters

Photo by Chris Unger/DWCS LLC

Joshua Fabia made some serious accusations on the UFC bosses. Diego Sanchez recently said that he fears for his life as he believes the UFC would retaliate after he exposes the “truth” about…


Dana White and UFC matchmaker Sean Shelby
Photo by Chris Unger/DWCS LLC

Joshua Fabia made some serious accusations on the UFC bosses.

Diego Sanchez recently said that he fears for his life as he believes the UFC would retaliate after he exposes the “truth” about this “evil” company.

He claims there’s an agenda being pushed by the UFC in order to silence Joshua Fabia, and Sanchez’s controversial coach/manager/nutritionist/guru has now fired back. Fabia threw some very serious allegations against UFC’s upper management in President Dana White and matchmaker Sean Shelby.

“Why isn’t nobody talking about, that the reckoning happened, and somehow Dana White gets to f—k fighters?” Fabia said during an interview with John Gibson. “How many female fighters has he has sex with? How many female fighters has Sean Shelby had sex with? Yeah, this is the truth, man!

“And so, let’s just get real,” Fabia continued. “There’s a lot of dirty, ridiculousness, and if you don’t want to clean it up or address it, and do this, yeah, man — I do have to show videos. I do have to show things because nobody else has recorded anything. Nobody else has protected themselves. Nobody else protected their fighter.”

Fabia has repeatedly clashed with people in the short time he has taken over Sanchez’s career. He has been captured on tape having various arguments with UFC brass, staff and employees, and as he alluded to, they released some of these private conversations themselves.

Fabia didn’t offer any proof, and it’s unclear whether these serious claims will have any legal repercussions for those involved, but it seems like this saga is far from over, and things could only get uglier from here on out.

Fabia uses Sanchez as punching bag; McGregor, others, angered by video

In yet another bizarre training video, Diego Sanchez hangs upside down as Joshua Fabia repeatedly punches, slaps and kicks him in the head. While Joshua Fabia is in the middle of Diego Sanchez’s sudden and controversial release,…


Joshua Fabia repeatedly punched, slapped and kicked an inverted Diego Sanchez on the head.

In yet another bizarre training video, Diego Sanchez hangs upside down as Joshua Fabia repeatedly punches, slaps and kicks him in the head.

While Joshua Fabia is in the middle of Diego Sanchez’s sudden and controversial release, yet another bizarre clip has surfaced involving the pair.

In the video that has since been deleted by the original uploader, Sanchez is seen doing some baffling “training.”

Most notable was the segment where Sanchez hangs upside down, while Fabia uses his head almost like a speed bag, punching his chin and head repeatedly. He then moves on by slapping Sanchez in the face and head again and again.

Joshua Fabia kept punching and slapping Diego Sanchez in his jaw and head.
Joshua Fabia kept punching and slapping Diego Sanchez in his jaw and head.

If that wasn’t bad enough, Fabia then starts kicking him in the head over and over as he hangs upside down with his eyes closed.

Joshua Fabia kicks Diego Sanchez to the head, while he hangs upside down with his eyes closed.
Joshua Fabia kicks Diego Sanchez to the head, while he hangs upside down with his eyes closed.

By the end of the clip, Sanchez is also seen blindfolded inside a boxing ring, and Fabia is there whipping him with a black belt.

A blindfolded Diego Sanchez being whipped by Joshua Fabia.

The original video was taken down, as with other clips on social media, but as expected with the internet, it’s likely going to stay up as it’s already been re-uploaded on various platforms.

Fabia has bragged about how Sanchez doesn’t take much damage in the fights he badly lost under his tutelage, but this footage looks to be him doing exactly just that, and doling some very unnecessary head trauma. Many in the MMA community were bothered and even angered by the training video, and a number of people have spoken out against it.

In a string of tweets that have since been deleted, Conor McGregor threatened to break Fabia’s nose after watching the clip, and urged Sanchez to finally “ditch him.”

“This is just madness! I’ll break this things nose in half,” McGregor wrote. “This not the move Diego, my bro. I been with ye the whole way, and still am. But this is not on. It was unfair treatment by commentary and fans on your last performance imo, for sure. But not on this guy, 0-0. Ditch.”

McGregor says this is very different from typical body conditioning that some fighters do, as this involves head trauma.

“I’m actually on the side of body hardening work also. Work the body etc. But doing it hanging upside down, and getting the dome of the head struck repeatedly, while covering vision, is preposterous! Grab this guy by the ears and head butt him at his front door first thing,” McGregor continued.

“I watched the engagement with the broadcast team with an open minded judgement and an understanding that there was disrespectful comments made against you. You were right to pull this up. But the other guy took over the convo. Made it all about him. This is not his story Diego.

“Box his nose in and ditch him.”