Whether you love him or hate him, you simply can't ignore what Conor McGregor has achieved in the past 12 months.

His exploits aren't just limited to what happened inside the Octagon, but let's start there. McGregor:

Knocked out a man most considered the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world and an all-time great in 13 seconds when he defeated Jose Aldo in their battle for the featherweight championship.

Became the first person in history to simultaneously hold two belts in the UFC by adding Eddie Alvarez's lightweight strap in a clinical performance in New York.

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Climbed two weight divisions to take on veteran warrior Nate Diaz, and after being defeated in their first fight, prevailed in a five-round war in the rematch - a fight that will be remembered as an all-time classic.

That's the kind of one-year resume never seen before in one of the world's most physically-challenging competitions but as we mentioned earlier McGregor's athletic performances are only part of what he's delivered to sporting audiences.

To put it simply the man is the most entertaining athlete in the world today. Every single interview he completes is a promoter's dream. Every moment of a fight week leading into one of his bouts has fans holding their breath.

From his mink coats, to his billionaire strut to his made for T-shirts lines like "Who the fook is that guy?" and "I'd like to take this opportunity to apologise... to absolutely nobody", the showmanship this 28-year-old Irishman is capable of compares only to Muhammad Ali.

Which makes Sports Illustrated's decision to leave McGregor off its shortlist for the 2016 Sportsperson of the Year baffling at best and an absolute outrage if you're a fan of mixed martial arts.

One of the most respected publications in sport unveiled the 12 contenders for its annual award on Friday and McGregor was unable to earn a place alongside these champions: Michael Phelps (swimming), Chicago Cubs (baseball), Simone Biles (gymnastics), Usain Bolt (athletics), LeBron James (basketball), Breanna Stewart (basketball), Katie Ledecky (swimming), Vin Scully (broadcasting), Steph Curry (basketball), Leicester City (football), Jimmie Johnson (motor racing) and Von Miller (NFL).

Now, I understand competition is always a little hotter in Olympic years and after being in Rio to watch the likes of Phelps, Bolt, Ledecky and Biles in the flesh I have a huge appreciation for what they accomplished.

Ditto for the drought-breaking efforts of James, the Cubs and Leicester City. Curry, Johnson and Stewart also created their own pieces of history and it's a nice acknowledgment of Scully's 67 years in the booth to include him.

But I'd argue McGregor's exploits are up there with anyone on this list - and he certainly deserves a place ahead of Miller, who was sensational in the Super Bowl but you could argue hardly achieved anything that hasn't been done before.

These type of awards aren't about who earns the most money but McGregor's ability to transcend his sport and start pulling in tens of millions of dollars per year is a remarkable achievement - and one accomplished by commitment, hard work and pure performance.

When considering his absence from the shortlist it's worth noting the three fighters who managed to win the award in its more than 60-year history.

Ingemar Johansson (1959) - a Swedish fighter who finished heavyweight champion Floyd Patterson in three rounds to win the world title.

Muhammad Ali (1974) - avenged his defeat to Joe Frazier in their rematch at Madison Square Garden before knocking out George Foreman in the Rumble in the Jungle.

Sugar Ray Leonard (1981) - Became the first man to defeat Thomas Hearns to unify two welterweight titles.

You could argue what McGregor has achieved is pretty comparable to all three and remember these are boxers who won the award - we're just calling for him to be in the final dozen.

The Notorious's absence could come down to which sports the magazine holds closest to its heart. American team sports are always going to have a headstart, which you can see by the omission of Cristiano Ronaldo in a year he won the European Championship and the Champions League.

But Ronda Rousey made the shortlist last year (it was announced before her defeat against Holly Holm at UFC 193 in Melbourne), so there are signs Sports Illustrated is ready to accept the UFC's emergence as a serious player on the global sports stage.

Hopefully it's not because he lost to Diaz, because that was hardly worse than Curry blowing a 3-1 lead in the NBA Finals.