Cormier, Cejudo Nominated for ESPY Award
For the first time ever, the annual ESPY Awards will have a Best MMA Fighter category, and it’s going to be a hard pick this year.
UFC Heavyweight Champion Daniel Cormier and UFC Flyweight and Bantamweight Champion Henry Cejudo are among the short list of nominees, along with UFC Women’s Bantamweight and Featherweight Champion Amanda Nunes and interim UFC Middleweight Champion Israel Adesanya. Previously known as the “Best Fighter” category, the distinction has since been divided between boxing and MMA.
Each of the nominees this year have their own growing legacies and have been busy cultivating success in the Octagon.
Daniel Cormier won the heavyweight title by knocking out then-champion Stipe Miocic in the first round at UFC 226. Prior to that, Cormier defended his light heavyweight championship against Volkan Oezdemir at UFC 220, winning via 2nd round TKO. He has since vacated his light heavyweight title and is expected to face Miocic in a rematch at UFC 241 on August 17th.
From becoming an Olympic gold medalist to stamping his name in two divisions, Henry Cejudo has had a string of success as of late. Last August, Cejudo defeated longtime champion Demitrious Johnson to win the flyweight strap. After defeating TJ Dillashaw in a 125 lb. title fight, he went on to face Marlon Moraes at UFC 238 to win the vacant bantamweight title and join the exclusive ranks of double champion.
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In a post Ronda Rousey world, Amanda Nunes continues to assert why she is the “baddest woman on the planet. Defending her bantamweight title against Raquel Pennington via 5th round TKO, Nunes set her eyes on Cris Cyborg’s featherweight championship. The two faced at UFC 232, with Nunes walking away with the KO in the first round and another title to add to her collection. Along with Cormier and Cejudo, she also holds the double champion distinction.
Israel Adesanya has been one of the fastest growing stars in the UFC with his dynamic striking style. In a Fight of the Night performance against the legendary Anderson Silva, Adesanya earned the unanimous decision victory at UFC 234. Following this victory, he faced Kelvin Gastelum for the interim UFC Middleweight Championship at UFC 236. One unanimous decision later, and Adesanya earned the interim title and a unification fight against Robert Whittaker at UFC 243.
The ESPY Awards take place on July 10th in Los Angeles, California. The show will be broadcast live at 8 p.m. EST on ABC and hosted by comedian Tracy Morgan. Fans can vote for Best MMA Fighter at ESPN.com.
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