By MATT BOONE
MMANEWS.COM Staff Writer
UFC came up short again in their shot at making history by being the first non-boxing related sport to take home an ESPY award for “best fighter” at the 2010 ceremony that aired on ESPN on Wednesday night, July 14. Both UFC welterweight champion Georges “Rush” St. Pierre and newly crowned UFC lightweight champion Frankie “The Answer” Edgar were up for ESPYS in different categories at the annual sports awards show.
St. Pierre was nominated in the “best fighter” category, losing out to pro boxer “Pretty Boy” Floyd Mayweather. GSP scored successful victories in two fights in 2009, a fourth-round TKO of UFC lightweight champion B.J. Penn in a champion versus champion fight at UFC 94 in January, and a one-sided unanimous decision over Thiago Alves in a welterweight title defense at UFC 100 in July.
“Money” Mayweather had one victory in 2009, which was his return from “retirement” following a December 8, 2007 victory over Ricky “Hitman” Hatton. Mayweather's lone 2009 victory was a unanimous decision over highly ranked pound-for-pound boxer Juan Manuel Marquez in September.
If the first half of 2010 is included in the voting, add a lopsided unanimous decision over “The Outlaw” Dan Hardy at UFC 111 this past March to GSP's scorecard, and a unanimous decision over “Sugar” Shane Mosley this past May to Mayweather's. A fight that Mayweather did win handily on points when all was said and done, but a fight where Mayweather was in more trouble in the early rounds than he has been in a long, long time.
This marks the second time GSP has been nominated and lost as “best fighter” at the ESPYS, a category that underwent a name change in 2007 specifically because of the emergence of the sport of mixed-martial arts. The category was previously called “best boxer” and had been established since 1993. Mayweather was the man who beat out GSP for the trophy in 2007 as well.
The other UFC representative went into the ESPYS already making history, as Frankie Edgar was the first UFC fighter ever nominated for an award in a category other than “best fighter.” Edgar was up for the “biggest upset” award, an honor that ultimately went to the Northern Iowa's upset of number-one seeded Kansas in the NCAA basketball tournament.