Conor McGregor has cemented himself as one of the highest paid athletes in the world after making the top 25 of the Forbes highest paid athletes list.

Just one year after becoming the first UFC fighter to make the top 100 of the Forbes list at 85, McGregor has now climbed up to 24, tied with Real Madrid's Gareth Bale, having earned $34m (£26m) in the last year.

Still the only mixed martial artist on the list, the Irishman made $23m from his fight purses, pay-per-view cuts and performance bonuses while $11m came from his personal endorsements.

This means that the UFC lightweight champion earned more than the likes of Rafael Nadal, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Saul "Canelo" Alvarez, Kyrie Irving, Andy Murray, Wayne Rooney and Serena Williams.

The last year has been a monumental 12 months for McGregor thanks to his big money fight with Nate Diaz at UFC 202 in August 2016 which saw the "Notorious" earn the joint-highest guaranteed purse at $3m.

The event, headlined by McGregor, also remains the most successful UFC pay-per-view of all time with 1,650,000 buys.

The 28-year-old followed that up in November 2016 by becoming the first ever two-weight world champion after his win over Eddie Alvarez at UFC 205 in what was another event headlined by him that generated $37m in economic output for New York City.

And, with McGregor closing in on what could be the biggest fight in combat sports history, having signed his half of the deal for a boxing match with Floyd Mayweather which could earn him $100m, he can expect to go even higher up in the Forbes list next year.

Conor McGregor
McGregor became the UFC's first ever simultaneous two-weight champion in 2016 Reuters