The MMA legend dropped out of the top 10 in the finance magazine’s Highest-Paid Athletes list © Instagram @thenotoriousmma

UFC superstar Conor McGregor has been dethroned as the world’s highest-paid athlete, according to Forbes, with Paris Saint-Germain forward Lionel Messi replacing him at the summit.

The US finance magazine released its prestigious World’s Highest-Paid Athletes top 10 list on Wednesday, and detailed how Messi earned $75 million on-field and $55 million off it over the 12 last months for a total $130 million.

These earnings have been achieved by changing clubs from childhood outfit FC Barcelona to PSG last summer, but also striking a $20 million-a-year partnership with cryptocurrency group Socios in addition to maintaining endorsements with the likes of Adidas, Budweiser, Mastercard, and Pepsi.

This meant that new Saudi Arabia tourism ambassador Messi leveled generational rival Cristiano Ronaldo in off-field earnings for the first time since 2013, with the Portuguese taking third place through $115 million split into $60 million on-field and $55 million off-field.

Like Messi, Ronaldo also switched allegiances before the football season by returning to Manchester United, where he is paid a reported $32 million while also handsomely compensated at previous employers Juventus. (RT)