VIDEO: Francis Ngannou Ecstatic After Being Nominated for the Best MMA Fighter Award

Published 06/24/2021, 6:21 AM EDT
JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA – MAY 09: Francis Ngannou of Cameroon prepares to fight Jairzinho Rozenstruik of Suriname in their heavyweight fight during the UFC 249 event at VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena on May 09, 2020 in Jacksonville, Florida. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)

Francis Ngannou has officially entered as a nominee at the ESPYS for the best MMA fighter. His name has been listed alongside three other greats who are Khabib Nurmagomedov, Amanda Nunes, and Rose Namajunas. Except for the retired fighter Khabib Nurmagomedov, every nominee is a current UFC champion in their respective division.


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While Namajunas is the women’s strawweight champion, Nunes is the women’s double champion, ruling the bantamweight and featherweight divisions. Ngannou sits at the top of the food chain as a heavyweight champion. Although all the four nominees were announced earlier this month, the news took a while to reach ‘The Predator’.


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Ngannou’s manager, Marquel Martin, broke the news to him. After getting the good news, ‘The Predator’ celebrated by showing off his unique dance moves.

Francis Ngannou a deserving nominee

Ngannou shocked the world when he defeated the former heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic at UFC 260. This feat was incredible as Miocic, based on his numbers, was the UFC’s most dominant heavyweight champion.

However, the accolades were brushed aside as ‘The Predator’ knocked out Miocic in the second round. Therefore, this is the reason Francis Ngannou is one of the most deserving candidate on the list.

PHOENIX, ARIZONA – FEBRUARY 17: Francis Ngannou of Cameroon celebrates his KO victory over Cain Velasquez in their heavyweight bout during the UFC Fight Night event at Talking Stick Resort Arena on February 17, 2019 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

Fans can vote for their favorite nominee by visiting

ESPYS awards were first awarded back in 1993, it stands for Excellence in Sports Performance Yearly Award. This year awards will get televised on ABC on July 10 at 8 p.m. ET.

Some other classes and nominees

Best Boxer

  • Canelo Álvarez
  • Teófimo López
  • Claressa Shields
  • Tyson Fury

Best Athlete Men’s Tennis

  • Dominic Thiem
  • Novak Djokovic
  • Daniil Medvedev
  • Rafael Nadal

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Best MLS player

  • Alejandro Pozuelo, Toronto FC
  • Diego Rossi, Los Angeles FC
  • Andre Blake, Philadelphia Union
  • Lucas Zelarayán, Columbus Crew

Best Athlete in disability in women’s sport

  • Sam Bosco, Cycling
  • Oksana Masters, Nordic & Cycling
  • Becca Murray, Wheelchair Basketball
  • Leanne Smith, Swimming


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Best Athlete women’s sport

  • Naomi Osaka, Tennis
  • Simone Biles, Gymnastics
  • Amanda Nunes, UFC
  • Breanna Stewart, Seattle Storm

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Who will you vote for? Let us know in the comment section below.


Saurabh Singh

207 articles

Saurabh Singh Laledia is an MMA enthusiast who works as a UFC writer for EssentiallySports. His passion for the UFC infused with his knowledge of various fight styles such as Muay Thai and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu motivated him to pursue a career in combat sports journalism, as it would be where he could exhibit his expert views and unbiased opinions whilst keeping the fan’s perspective alive. He started watching the sport at UFC 53 in 2005 when ‘The Ace’ Rich Franklin beat Evan Turner to claim the belt and has traced the journey of the middleweight title right from 'The Spider' to 'The Last Stylebender'.