Daniel Cormier, a two-time All-American wrestler at Oklahoma State, won the ESPY Award for the Best MMA Fighter on Wednesday in Los Angeles. It’s the first year MMA fighters and boxers were split from the Best Fighter award into their own categories.
Cormier won the UFC heavyweight title in June 2018 with a first-round knockout of Stipe Miocic. At the time, Cormier was also the light heavyweight champion. He later successfully defend the heavyweight title with a submission of Derrick Lewis at UFC 230. Though he still holds that belt, Cormier voluntarily relinquished the light heavyweight title when officials announced it would be vacated and given to the winner of the UFC 232 main event between Jon Jones and Alexander Gustafsson, which Jones won.
Here is the video of @dc_mma winning the ESPY. You can see how much this means to him, and he reveals it comes at a time when both of his parents are currently in this hospital. “I can’t believe I have an ESPY. I’m just a kid from Louisiana.” pic.twitter.com/GVGaVIIdq2— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) July 11, 2019
Amanda Nunes, Henry Cejudo and Israel Adesanya were the other three finalists for the award. Nunes defended her bantamweight title in May then moved up to snap Cris Cyborg’s 13-year undefeated streak at featherweight. Cejudo also became a dual-division champion in June with a third-round TKO of Marlon Mores. Adesanya claimed an interim championship with a five-round unanimous decision against Kevin Gastelum to remain undefeated at 17-0 in his MMA career and 6-0 in the UFC.
The 40-year-old Cormier is scheduled to defend his heavyweight championship with a rematch against Miocic on Aug. 17 at UFC 241.