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03rd Jan 2017

Conor Murray denies Conor McGregor another prestigious double

Ran away with it

Patrick McCarry

Both men had unbelievable 2016s and even greater glories await over the next 12 months.

Back in March, Conor McGregor and Conor Murray would have been forgiven for having doubts.

McGregor had been robbed of a UFC lightweight title shot by a Rafael Dos Anjos injury and was then made to submit by Nate Diaz in his first ever welterweight fight.

Murray was part of an Ireland team that finished mid-table in the Six Nations and a Munster side struggling to make the top six of the Guinness PRO12.

Things could only get better, and they did.

McGregor created UFC history in November by knocking out Eddie Alvarez to simultaneously hold the featherweight and lightweight titles. He also avenged that 170lbs loss to Diaz.

Murray put in star turns in Irish victories over South Africa, Australia and New Zealand and has been a key figure in Munster’s stunning revival.

The pair were frontrunners for the SportsJOE Sportsperson of the Year for 2016 and took the lions share from the thousands of votes that you cast to find a winner. Paul O’Donovan shot into an early lead before Murray, buoyed by a great performance in Munster’s December 26 win over Leinster, took over.

There was a late flurry of votes for McGregor on December 31 but Murray had built up to sizeable a lead and was crowned our comprehensive Sportsperson of the Year.

McGregor claimed the accolade for 2015 [Paul O’Connell was second] so Murray’s win denied him what would have been another fantastic double.

Here is how the vote broke down:

  1. Conor Murray 50%
  2. Conor McGregor 20%
  3. Austin Gleeson 9%
  4. Paul O’Donovan 7.5%
  5. Seamus Coleman 6.5%
  6. Jim Gavin 2.5%
  7. Annalise Murphy 2%
  8. Wes Hoolahan 1.5%
  9. Martin O’Neill 1%

It will be fascinating to see who tops the poll at the end of 2017.

One feels that Ireland qualifying for World Cup 2018, the likes of Robbie Brady, Wes Hoolahan or Seamus Coleman could lord it up.

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