On a night when UFC was holding a Fight Night event in South Dakota that may have been the most entertaining fight card of the year, the promotion won a couple of ESPY awards -- one that was somewhat expected and another that was a bit of a shock.
Holly Holm's November 2015 win over then-bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey at UFC 193 was voted Upset of the Year, which wasn't much of a surprise. What was a surprise was that Conor McGregor was voted Fighter of the Year over UFC welterweight champion Robbie Lawler and boxers Canelo Alvarez, Roman Gonzales, and Gennady Golovkin.
The awards are voted on by the fans, so perhaps it shouldn't be a surprise that the very popular UFC featherweight champion won the award. His last appearance -- a sound defeat at the hands of Nate Diaz -- must have not made as much of a negative impact.
In other ESPY results, the Holm vs. Rousey bout, and specifically the finish, finished #6 in a field of 16 in the "Play of the Year" award, while McGregor lost in the Breakthrough Performance category to Chicago Cubs pitcher Jake Arrieta.
Other UFC news from today:
- UFC announced an FS1 Fight Night show eminating from Hidalgo, TX, on Saturday September 17th. There will now be a UFC event every Saturday night in September.
- Wilson Reis, who was originally scheduled to face flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson in a title fight at UFC 201 in Atlanta, will now face Sean Santella. That match is happening despite Louis Smolka calling him out during the Sioux Falls show and asking for it to be an interim title fight.
- Also for UFC 201, Ross Pearson, fresh off a loss to former Bellator champion Will Brooks this past Friday, will move up to welterweight and take on another former lightweight in Jorge Masvidal.
- In another match announced today, Lorenz Larkin will step in for the injured Dong Hyun Kim to face Neil Magny at UFC 202 in Cleveland.