UFC light heavyweight champion Jon ‘Bones’ Jones and UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva have both been nominated along with boxers Floyd Mayweather Jr., and Andre Ward.
The 20th annual ESPY awards take place on Wednesday, July 11 from the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles.
2011 was a historic year for UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones, who went undefeated going 4-0 while capturing the 205lb title in one of the most impressive 12-month spans in the sport’s history.
Jones kicked off the year with a submission victory over Ryan Bader before blasting through former champion Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua to capture the light heavyweight strap.
Jones went on to submit both Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson and Lyoto Machida to close out his 2011 with an incredible run through 3 former UFC champions.
“It’s an honor to not only be nominated for the ESPY for Best Fighter, but to also be included in a category with some of the greatest fighters in MMA and boxing history.” Jones said.
Anderson Silva’s 2011 was also quite good for the man recognized as the best mixed martial artist of all time.
Silva TKO’d both Vitor Belfort and Yushin Okami to mark his 8th and 9th title defenses respectively in what has almost become commonplace for the Brazilian champion since debuting with the UFC in 2006.
The two MMA fighters will join the two boxers in the category that Floyd Mayweather has won three times previously in 2007, 2008 and 2010.