ESPY Awards Include MMA-Specific Category for the First Time, Four UFC Fighters Nominated

Daniel Cormier
Daniel Cormier, UFC 230 Credit: Jason Burgos/

Amanda Nunes and Henry Cejudo are among those nominated for this year’s ESPY Best MMA Fighter award.

The Excellence in Sports Performance Yearly Awards will feature an MMA only category for the first time this year. EPSN’s ESPY awards (who even remembers what that stands for, besides writers putting together articles like this one?) have added an ESPY Best MMA Fighter category for 2019. Previously, they featured a Best Fighter award. However, with the UFC joining EPSN — not to mention the PFL — it seems like the network is doing everything it can to recognize the sport of mixed martial arts.

Moving forward, boxers (also included under the old Fighter category) will also have their own award.

For the 2019 edition of the ESPY’s, four UFC fighters have been nominated. With no other fighters in contention, that means the UFC will be represented when the winners are named.

The fighters vying for the ESPY Best MMA Fighter award in 2019 are:

  • Amanda Nunes (became double champion in 2018 by knocking out Cris Cyborg)
  • Henry Cejudo (dethroned Demetrious ‘Mighty Mouse’ Johnson in 2018)
  • Daniel Cormier (became double champion in 2018 after winning heavyweight title)
  • Israel Adesanya (a stellar run in 2018 that brought him to interim gold in 2019)

The trophies will be awarded July 10, 2019 in a ceremony airing live on ABC. Voting and more info can be found via ESPN.