Ronda Rousey has received two ESPY nominations. | Dave
A trio of UFC titlists – Ronda Rousey, Jon Jones and Chris Weidman
-- have received ESPY nominations for 2014.
Rousey leads the way with two nominations, for “Best Female
Athlete” as well as “Best Fighter.” Jones, will compete against
Rousey in the “Best Fighter” category, while Weidman’s UFC 162
triumph over then middleweight champion Anderson Silva is a
candidate for “Best Upset.”
An online fan vote on ESPN.com will decide the
winner in 33 categories, which also include “Best Team,” Best
Breakthrough Performance” and “Best Championship Performance,”
among others. The ceremony takes place on July 16 at the Nokia
Theater in Los Angeles and airs on ESPN.
Last year, both Jones and Silva were nominated for “Best Fighter,”
but boxing champion Floyd Mayweather Jr. ultimately captured the
honor for a fifth time. The category was changed from “Best Boxer”
in 2007 to include MMA. However, a mixed martial artist has yet to
win the award since the change, despite the likes of Silva, Jones,
Georges St. Pierre, Lyoto Machida, Quinton Jackson and Randy
Couture receiving nominations. Jones and Rousey are joined in the
“Best Fighter” category by Mayweather, Manny Pacquiao and Andre
Meanwhile, Rousey will go head-to-head against the WNBA’s Maya
Moore, alpine skier Mikaela Shiffrin and University of Connecticut
basketball standout Breanna Stewart for “Best Female Athlete.”
Weidman is matched up with a pair of men’s college basketball
upsets: The University of Connecticut basketball team’s national
championship triumph as a No. 7 seed, and No. 14 seed Mercer’s
first-round shocker against Duke in the 2013 NCAA Tournament.
Rousey has successfully defended the women’s bantamweight crown
three times in the Octagon, most recently scoring a first-round TKO
of Sara McMann in February. She will face Alexis Davis at UFC
175 on July 5.
Jones has defended his light heavyweight title twice since coming
up short at last year’s ESPYs, besting Alexander Gustafsson in
September and Glover Teixeira at UFC 172. “Bones” is slated for a
rematch with Gustafsson on Sept. 27.
Weidman captured the 185-pound strap with his upset over Silva last
July before defeating “The Spider” once again at UFC 168 in
December. The Serra-Longo Fight Team representative is scheduled to
next put the middleweight crown on the line against Lyoto Machida
in the UFC 175 headliner.