UFC

Ronda Rousey wins ESPN Female of the Year award

Rousey has dominated during her reign as champion (©GettyImages)
Rousey has dominated during her reign as champion (©GettyImages).

Ronda Rousey has landed one of the biggest accolades in US Sport as she was awarded the 2014 ESPY award for Best Female Athlete.

The ESPY (Exceptional in Sports Performances Yearly) awards are given out by major sports network, ESPN and Rousey became the first UFC fighter ever to win an ESPY award.

She beat out Maya Moore of WNBA champion Minnesota Lynx, Olympic skier Mikaela Shiffrin, and Breanna Stewart of Connecticut's NCAA champion basketball squad for the award.

The Rise of Rousey

It is a continuation of Rousey's remarkable rise through the sporting world. Having achieved Olympic success, she was an early adopter of MMA and has gone on to become one of the UFC's biggest draws and is currently undefeated and sits atop her division.

Now on the verge of mainstream movie success with roles in The Expendables 3 and Fast and Furious 7, Rousey could be a household name soon and that's only good news for the UFC.

She was a part of the UFC's biggest card last year, where she fought rival Miesha Tate in the co-main event of UFC 168, alongside Chris Weidman-Anderson Silva 2.

Jones and Weidman miss out

Also up for ESPY awards were UFC Light Heavyweight champ, Jon Jones and UFC Middleweight champ, Chris Weidman.

Jones was nominated for Best Fighter of the Year award, alongside Rousey but that title went to Floyd 'Money' Mayweather for a record sixth time. Mayweather has won the award all but twice since it's inception in 2007.

The only other winner is Manny Pacquiao.

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As for Weidman, he was nominated for Upset of the Year, for his back-to-back victories over Silva but lost out to Mercer college basketball team, who defeated Duke in the NCAA Tournament.

The reaction

Rousey wasn't able to accept her award, due to undergoing surgery for the hand injury she suffered in her 16 second knockout victory over Alexis Davis, but she did send put up a message on Instagram thanking her fans.

"Thank you everyone for all the #espy love and support. Couldn't be more appreciative for the fans voting and for my team helping me get so far. Really wish I could've been there but - health before glamour ;)" Read the message.

Sure to please Dana White

Rousey's win was historic for the UFC and MMA as it marked the first ever win and will do wonders for the legitimacy of the sport, which is still facing questions.

Perhaps the toughest nut for the UFC to crack is the New York Athletic Commission, which still refuses to give the UFC a license which is keeping the organisation out of historic venues like Madison Square Garden.

This win could go a little way towards breaking the ban of UFC but some fighters have said, UFC owners, Frank and Lorenzo Fertitta's issues with culinary unions in New York are the reason for the block and it won't lift until their issues are resolved.

Topics:
Anderson Silva
Jon Jones
UFC

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