Conor McGregor didn't bother showing up for last year's RTE Sports awards. He defiantly announced via facebook that the approval of RTE did not motivate him. It was cash that motivated him.
This year it's different.
Paddy Power have McGregor at 1/4 favourite for the Sports Person of the Year award, with gold medallist in Doha Michael Conlan currently priced at second favourite at 9/2. Paul O'Connell is currently third in the running at 8/1.
Kenneth Egan - Olympic silver medallist and Fine Gael councillor in South Dublin for those few who don't know - is adamant that Conlan deserves the award.
Egan told Balls.ie that he thinks Conlan will win the award because the winner is picked by journalists rather than the public.
Thank God it's not down to the public. I think it's the journalists that vote on it. I think Michael Conlan has a good chance of taking the poll. Look, the two of them are great warriors, great fighters and it's great to see two combat sports in the running for the sports personality of the year.
For me personally, I've nothing against Conor McGregor. He's a great athlete, he's doing the UFC wonders but I think Michael Conlan deserves the award because he's so young, he's qualified for the Olympic games but he's won a World championship gold medal and in that he had to win five fights in seven days. Fifteen rounds of boxing. To come out on top at such a young age...
It's up to journalists. If they want to jump on the bandwagon they can obviously vote for McGregor but for me - and there's no bias in it either because I know I come from a boxing background - I genuinely feel he (Conlon) deserves it because of his world gold. It hasn't been done before.
Egan is extremely confident that Conlan will win gold in Rio next year. Left-field argument but could that even militate against him winning the big one this year? RTE might complacently feel he could do the business next year and decide they don't want the same winner two years running (perhaps we shouldn't get ahead of ourselves).
Egan doesn't agree, saying if that were to happen then Conlon should win it two years running.
He'll win the gold medal (in Rio). He's leagues above everyone else. For such a man, the confidence he brings into the ring... He's learned from the best. His father's a fantastic coach and he works with Zaur Antia in the high performance unit. He's years ahead of himself and there's no reason why he can't go on and win the gold medal.
He should win it this year and if he goes on and wins the Olympics then he should win it again next year.
Egan naturally heaps praise on McGregor for his achievements in the UFC and says that his boxing background shines through in his fights. Though, he admitted he was glad he didn't watch the fight.
I watched it the following morning on twitter. I'm actually glad I didn't stay up for it. It was over in 13 seconds. But it was a fantastic left hand he threw, I have to say. The little double step back. You can see he comes from a boxing background. His balance and his movement was perfect.
He didn't do much in the amateurs I believe, he was beaten in the intermediates so it was probably a good move to go into ultimate fighting. But fair play to him. He's making the money and he's doing the business.
Who would you rather see the award?