The 2022 ESPY Awards are right around the corner and that means someone will be voted as the best mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter.
For those unfamiliar with the show, the ESPYs are ESPN’s yearly award ceremony. This year’s event will air live from Los Angeles, Calif., on ABC at 8 p.m. ET on July 20, 2022. Voting is now open for fans to vote: here.
Many categories will see several great athletes from across all sports celebrated, including MMA. This year, four talented individuals have been nominated for “Best MMA Fighter.” Of the four nominees, three are Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) mainstays, two of which hold titles, while the other most recently lost his on the scale.
Former Lightweight titleholder, Charles Oliveira, stands out among the group alongside champions, Alexander Volkanovski and Kamaru Usman. In their company outside UFC is two-time Professional Fighters League (PFL) Lightweight champion, Kayla Harrison.
At UFC 274 this past May, Oliveira continued his ultra-impressive winning ways, defeating Justin Gaethje via first round rear-naked choke submission (watch highlights). However, due to “Do Bronx’s” missing of weight the day prior, he was stripped of his UFC crown and ineligible to win it back in the fight. Oliveira’s now expected to compete in the next UFC Lightweight title bout regardless of the opponent.
This year, “Best MMA Fighter” isn’t the only category featuring talent from the sport, as UFC Bantamweight champion, Julianna Pena, is up for “Best Championship Performance” for her Dec. 2021 upset victory versus Amanda Nunes at UFC 269 (watch highlights). Also nominated with Pena is National Football League (NFL) wide receiver, Cooper Kupp of the Los Angeles Rams, F1 driver, Max Verstappen, and National Hockey League (NHL) player, Cale Makar of the Colorado Avalanche.
The full list of 2022 ESPY categories and nominees can be seen: here.
Who gets your vote?
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