ESPN released its third annual World Fame 100 on Tuesday that ranks the most popular athletes in the world using internet search score, endorsement dollars and social media followers.
With the top 10 made up of three soccer players (Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and Neymar), three NBA players (LeBron James, Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry), two golfers (Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson) and two tennis players (Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal), the world of combat sports was left out.
However, two combat sports practitioners who faced each other last August, but haven’t competed since then, are ranked in the top 20.
And just like their record-breaking showdown, Floyd Mayweather has once again come out on top.
Mayweather bested Conor McGregor on the list with an overall search score of 196, $15 million in endorsements and 20.1 million social media followers to clock in at No. 14. McGregor wasn’t too far behind at No. 18 with a search score of 172, $9 million in endorsements and a social media following of 22.6 million.
Obviously, the retired Mayweather has been at this a lot longer than McGregor with a professional boxing career that spanned 21 years. The Irishman turned pro in MMA back in 2008 but his rise to prominence has been a swift one over the past three years. Nevertheless, McGregor fell short but shouldn’t be ashamed of his ranking. No other mixed martial artist cracked the top 100 while boxing had five entries (Anthony Joshua at No. 46, Canelo Alvarez at No. 58, Gennady Golovkin at No. 61, Manny Pacquiao at No. 63 and Wladimir Klitschko at No. 75). Far and away, McGregor remains mixed martial arts’ biggest star despite not having competed in the Octagon since November of 2016.
UFC president Dana White fully expects McGregor to head back to the Octagon before the end of 2018 — barring a suspension for his role in the UFC bus attack at the UFC 223 media day last month.
Meanwhile, Mayweather is retired from boxing but has toyed with the idea of competing in mixed martial arts. It’s something that very few believe will come to fruition, but it’s the perfect way to keep his name in the headlines and possibly ahead of McGregor when next year’s edition of the “World Fame 100” is released.
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