Anderson Silva and Jon Jones have once again received ESPY nominations in the “Best Fighter” category.
The UFC champions come up against pugilists Canelo Alvarez, Danny Garcia and Floyd Mayweather Jr. An online fan vote on ESPN.com will decide the winner of 35 categories, including “Best Male Athlete,” “Best Female Athlete,” “Best Team,” and “Best Upset.” The award ceremony takes place July 17 at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles and airs on ESPN.
The “Best Fighter” award was originally known as “Best Boxer,” given out annually since the ESPY’s inception in 1993. Since the category was changed to include mixed martial artists in 2007, Mayweather has won the award in four out of six years, with Manny Pacquiao triumphing in 2009 and 2011.
Silva was previously nominated for the award in 2009 and 2012. The 38-year-old UFC middleweight champion has not lost a fight since 2006 and currently rides a 17-fight winning streak into his July 6 title defense against Chris Weidman at UFC 162. “The Spider” has successfully defended his belt a record 10 times and owns 26 career finishes to his credit.
Jones, meanwhile, was nominated for “Best Fighter” in each of the last two years. “Bones” captured the UFC light heavyweight title from Mauricio Rua in 2011 and has defended his belt five times thus far, most recently pounding out former Silva nemesis Chael Sonnen on April 27 at UFC 159. The 25-year-old has tasted defeat just once in his 19-fight career, as he was controversially disqualified in 2009 for landing illegal 12-to-6 elbows in a fight he was dominating.