The ESPY Awards have become the yearly award show for sports. MMA has appeared on this award show, being nominated as well as winning, from time to time in recent years. Usually it’s the most famous UFC fighters that get nominated at the ESPY Awards, and this year provides just that with three of the most well-known current UFC fighters earning nominations.
Ronda Rousey took home nominations in the “Best Female Athlete” and “Best Fighter” categories, her first ESPY nomination in both categories.
In the “Best Female Athlete” category, Rousey is up against WNBA basketball player Maya Moore, collegiate basketball player Breanna Stewart and Olympic skier Mikaela Shiffrin.
One UFC fighter who has become familiar with ESPY nominations is Jon Jones.
This year Jones was nominated for “Best Fighter” along with Rousey, marking the fourth straight year that Jones has been nominated for this award. Despite the nominations, Jones has yet to win in this category.
Jones and Rousey are the mixed martial artists nominated for the “Best Fighter” ESPY this year. The boxers nominated were Floyd Mayweather, Manny Pacquiao and Andre Ward.
Chris Weidman was nominated with his UFC middleweight title win over Anderson Silva almost one year ago earning him a “Best Upset” nomination.
Going up against Weidman in this category are two men’s college basketball tournament upsets: Mercer’s shocking win over Duke on the second day of the tournament’s first weekend and the University of Connecticut’s tournament win.
It’ll be interesting to see if UFC gets any love from the voters this year, but I’m doubting it.
Like all other years, I see a boxer winning best fighter, not for any preference of mine, but how the sports fans that vote for the ESPY Awards tend to vote.
Mayweather would be my pick among the boxers, but Ward definitely deserves more love than he’s likely going to get.
Either of the two basketball upsets should be pretty heavy favorites to prevent Weidman from winning an ESPY.
Weidman’s upset of Silva was no doubt a tremendous upset and was the talk of the sport for a long time in the last of 2013. However, both of the basketball upsets happened during March Madness, which means they are much more recent and thus more clearly visible in voter’s minds.
Rousey has the best chance of walking out with an award for UFC with her “Best Female Athlete” nomination.
Shiffrin won a gold medal in Sochi, Stewart was on an undefeated and champion women’s basketball team, but Rousey is one dominate, ruthless woman inside the octagon. The kind of domination and competitive spirit that Rousey has demonstrated in MMA competition could be enough to win the vote.