Ronda Rousey, Conor McGregor, Anderson Silva Among ESPN’s Top 100 Most Famous Athletes

By Tristen Critchfield May 30, 2017

It remains to be seen if Ronda Rousey will set foot in the Octagon again, but according to ESPN, the former bantamweight queen is still the most famous mixed martial artist in the world.

Rousey checks in as the No. 16 most famous athlete in the world overall, according to the ESPN World Fame 100 rankings. Also on the list are current UFC lightweight champion and would-be Floyd Mayweather opponent Conor McGregor (No. 25) and longtime UFC middleweight kingpin Anderson Silva (No. 39).

The list was created by ESPN director of analytics Ben Alamar using a formula that combines endorsements, social media following and internet search popularity. A more detailed explanation of the methodology can be read here. Retired athletes are not included, but since Rousey has not made an official announcement regarding her status, she remains eligible for consideration. Soccer standout Cristiano Ronaldo is ranked first, while NBA superstar LeBron James checks in at No. 2 on the World Fame 100.

According to ESPN, Rousey “elevated herself to the next level of celebrity by her sheer audacity and refreshing candor, talking about her struggles with body image as easily as admitting to assaulting an ex-boyfriend and revealing she had suicidal thoughts after her first UFC loss.” The report also claims that Rousey made $8 million dollars in endorsements in 2016.

Rousey has not competed since suffering her second straight defeat in the Octagon, a 48-second TKO defeat to reigning champion Amanda Nunes at UFC 206. The Olympic judoka has remained out the MMA limelight since then, leading to speculation that she may never fight again.

McGregor, meanwhile, continues to build toward a boxing clash with Mayweather. The UFC’s current top pay-per-view draw earned $4 million in endorsements in 2016, according to ESPN.

Finally, ESPN calls Silva “one of the most entertaining personalities the sport has ever seen” and reports that “The Spider” garnered $8 million in endorsements last year. The 39-year-old Brazilian does not currently have a fight booked and has been increasingly at odds with the promotion in recent months.


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