Though Conor McGregor is dominating combat sports headlines in the buildup to his blockbuster boxing match with undefeated legend Floyd Mayweather Jr., he came up short in his bid for the ESPY for Fighter of the Year. Though he won the award last year, this year, the honor goes to UFC flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson.
Johnson was announced as the winner of the Fighter of the Year ESPY on Wednesday. The UFC flyweight king didn’t just beat out McGregor to win this honor, but also boxers Terence Crawford, Gennady Golovkin, and Andre Ward.
Over the last few years, Johnson has established himself as the most dominant champion in MMA today. Since winning the inaugural UFC flyweight title with a decision defeat of the talented Joseph Benavidez, he has defended it by decisioning John Dodson, submitting John Moraga, knocking out Joseph Benavidez in a rematch, decision Ali Bagautinov, submitting Chris Cariaso, submitting Kyoji Horiguchi, decisioning John Dodson in a rematch, knocking out former Olympic wrestler Henry Cejudo, decisioning Tim Elliott, and most recently, submitting BJJ blackbelt Wilson Reis with a third-round armbar.
Needless to say, Demetrious Johnson is the picture of dominance.
Despite being such an unstoppable force in the UFC, Johnson has recently found himself at odds with UFC President Dana White. White has repeatedly blasted the strawweight champ for his refusal to fight former bantamweight champion TJ Dillashaw instead of flyweight contender Ray Borg, and for his failure to evolve into a pay-per-view star.
Johnson’s receiving this ESPY over fighters like McGregor, Ward and Golovkin will likely serve as a nice bargaining chip in an future blowouts with White.
Mighty Mouse is 26-2-1 overall. His next title defense, which could see him enter the history books with the most consecutive title defenses in UFC history, is not yet scheduled.
Do you think Demetrious Johnson is the right choice for this year’s Fighter of the Year ESPY?
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 7/13/2017.