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Photo: Steve Marcus/Getty Images

Major U.S. sports leagues took a $13+ billion revenue hit in 2020, but that didn't stop the world's top athletes from earning historic sums of money.

Driving the news: A record four athletes earned more than $100 million in the past year, per Forbes' 2021 calculations, which includes endorsement deals, business ventures and salaries.

  • Topping the list is UFC's Conor McGregor, who earned $180 million, primarily from the sale of his whiskey brand, Proper No. 12.
  • Of note: The 10 highest-paid athletes took home $1.05 billion during the past 12 months, 28% more than last year's top earners and just a few million short of the $1.06 billion record set in 2018.

Top 10:

  1. ๐ŸฅŠ Conor McGregor: $180 million.
  2. โšฝ๏ธ Lionel Messi: $130 million.
  3. โšฝ๏ธ Cristiano Ronaldo: $120 million.
  4. ๐Ÿˆ Dak Prescott: $107.5 million.
  5. ๐Ÿ€ LeBron James: $96.5 million.
  6. โšฝ๏ธ Neymar: $95 million.
  7. ๐ŸŽพ Roger Federer: $90 million.
  8. ๐Ÿ Lewis Hamilton: $82 million.
  9. ๐Ÿˆ Tom Brady: $76 million.
  10. ๐Ÿ€ Kevin Durant: $75 million.

Go deeper

WHO director anticipates 100 million more COVID cases globally

WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP via Getty Images

The head of the World Health Organization said Wednesday that the world could see 100 million more cases of the coronavirus by early 2022, the Washington Post reports.

Why it matters: Director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus' comments come after the number of recorded COVID cases globally reached 200 million last week, only six months after the world passed 100 million cases.

Reddit expects to raise up to $700 million at over $10 billion valuation

Illustration: Aรฏda Amer/Axios

Reddit, the San Francisco-based online bulletin board and forum, has raised $410 million in Series F funding at a valuation of more than $10 billion led by Fidelity, with existing investors also participating. It expects to raise up to $700 million.

Why it matters: Reddit raised $250 million at a $6 billion valuation just six months ago.

60 mins ago - World

Scoop: Qatar emir to visit White House on Monday

The emir of Qatar, Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, leaves the White House after meeting President Trump in 2019. Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty Images

The emir of Qatar will meet with President Biden at the White House on Monday to discuss Afghanistan as well as contingency plans to provide natural gas to Europe in the event of a Russian invasion of Ukraine, Axios has learned.

Why it matters: Europe's reliance on Russia for 40% of its natural gas is undermining Biden's attempts to coordinate "massive" sanctions to be imposed from both sides of the Atlantic if Russia invades. The White House wants Qatar to help ensure European countries can enforce tough sanctions without risking an energy crisis.