Not only is Conor McGregor heading into 2016 with the UFC featherweight title finally strapped around his waist, he’s also just been named as one of the Top 25 Hottest Sex Symbols of the past year by Rolling Stone magazine.

McGregor is rubbing shoulders with the likes of Kylie Jenner, Justin Beiber, Ruby Rose and Michael B. Jordan on the list, while Rolling Stone go as far as to claim that, “there’s no denying that the brash, brawling Irishman is currently the biggest star in mixed martial arts (sorry, Ronda).”

Time will tell if that last statement is really true as when Ronda Rousey does finally come back to the Octagon it’s sure to be a fight everyone wants to see, while the fact that she’s going to be hosting Saturday Night Live later this month and has sent the internet alight with a new body paint photo shoot for Sports Illustrated suggests that she’s still a huge star.

In the Octagon though there’s no doubt that McGregor is the man with the midas touch though and with the luxury of being able to defend his featherweight title or move up to an instant shot at the lightweight belt, together with an almost guaranteed headline spot at UFC 200 if he wants it, The Irish sensation is perfectly placed to follow in Rousey’s footsteps and become a household name around the world over the next twelve months.

Meanwhile, even Jose Aldo is getting accolades of his own despite being KO’d in just 13 seconds against the aforementioned McGregor as Forbes magazine has just named him as one of their ’30 Under 30′ for 2016 in the sports category.

It’s a curious choice given that McGregor is also under 30, but Forbes argues that, “Even with his UFC 194 loss, Aldo would still make any comprehensive list of great UFC fighters. ‘He was the defending featherweight champion and was ranked No 1 in the official pound-for-pound rankings. He also went a decade without losing a match since 2005 and reigned as a world champion for six years.”

After a tough end to the year, Aldo was more than happy to receive this kind of recognition and he sees it as a sign that better times are ahead for him in 2016.

“I’m so glad that my career and my life story has inspired people not only in Brazil but in the whole world,”
Aldo said. “I thank you for the support and I’m sure this is a good omen, because 2016 will be a year of glory and happiness. Let’s go!”

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Ross launched MMA Insight (previously in 2009 as a way to channel his passion for the sport of mixed martial arts. He's since penned countless news stories and live fight reports along with dozens of feature articles as the lead writer for the site, reaching millions of fans in the process.