As the talk surrounding a mega fight with Floyd Mayweather intensifies, Conor McGregor’s status as one of the world’s premiere sports stars received another fill-up today after the Irishman was named by ESPN in their annual list of the world’s most famous athletes.
McGregor was chosen in 25th position, 12 spots up from the same list last year. The list is tallied, as ESPN say, by combining endorsements, social media following and internet search popularity.
In the accompanying article, ESPN describes McGregor as: “the reigning UFC lightweight champion and former undisputed featherweight champ (which he became with a 13-second stoppage of José Aldo during the fastest championship victory in UFC history). He’s the UFC’s biggest pay-per-view draw and a colourful talker and boaster, which has prompted comparisons to Muhammad Ali.”
McGregor was placed ahead of the likes of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Paul Pogba, Andy Murray and Anderson Silva.
There was no place on the list for McGregor’s potential next opponent Floyd Mayweather, whose current retirement invalidated him from the list. Just two boxers made the top 100, with Manny Pacquiao and Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez in 59th and 89th place. Rory McIlroy, who occupies 14th position, is the only other Irishman on the list. Cristiano Ronaldo, LeBron James and Lionel Messi make up the top three.
Image by Dave Fogarty.