ESPN held it’s annual ESPYs award show in Los Angeles last night to honor professional athletes for their on-field accomplishments as well as inspirational displays of courage beyond their athletic ability.
The ceremony produced several memorable moments and Joel McHale did an honorable job as host keeping the tone even as the mood swung from lighthearted to tear-jerking at times.
Rousey was awarded best fighter, deservedly so, after embarrassing Cat Zingano in a 14 second MMA match earlier this year. Before the match, Rousey stated she wanted the fight to be so short, that it could be posted in an Instagram video, which has a 15 second capacity for replay. Rousey did not disappoint. You can check out the odds on Rousey’s next fight at UFC 190 where she’ll take on Bethe Correia.
After receiving the award, Rousey took the time to skewer Floyd Mayweather, Jr., who she beat out for the honor of best fighter in a poignant statement on Mayweather’s past with domestic violence. “I wonder how Floyd feels being beat by a woman for once,” said Rousey. “I’d like to see him pretend to not know who I am now.”
Curry took home what is considered the most coveted award of best male athlete for leading the Golden State Warriors past James’ Cleveland Cavs in the NBA Finals last month. James took home the award for best championship performance, losing to Curry’s Warriors, but single-handedly kept his team competitive before the Warriors were able to clinch the championship.
One of the most anticipated awards going into the night was the Arthur Ashe Courage Award, which was given to Caitlyn Jenner. Jenner, who won the 1976 Olympic decathlon, came out as a transgender woman earlier this year. In a memorable speech, Jenner opened up about her transition and what she hopes to accomplish. “Trans people deserve something vital,” said Jenner. “They deserve your respect. And from that respect, comes a more compassionate community, a more empathetic society, and a better world for all of us.”
The ESPYs fell in the perfect spot on the calendar, giving sports fans the perfect distraction from the light summer sports schedule.
Here is the full list of nominees and winners in each category:
BEST MALE ATHLETE Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors – WINNER LeBron James, Cleveland Cavaliers Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers JJ Watt, Houston Texans
BEST FEMALE ATHLETE Ronda Rousey, MMA – WINNER Breanna Stewart, UConn Basketball Lindsey Vonn, Skiing Serena Williams, WTA
BEST CHAMPIONSHIP PERFORMANCE American Pharoah, Race Horse Lauren Haeger, Florida Softball LeBron James, Cleveland Cavaliers – WINNER
BEST RECORD-BREAKING PERFORMANCE Lauren Chamberlain Devin Hester Peyton Manning – WINNER Klay Thompson
BEST UPSET Georgia State over Baylor, NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament Kansas City Royals wins AL Pennant Mississippi over Alabama, FBS – WINNER
BEST GAME A’s vs. Royals, MLB AL Wild Card Spurs vs. Clippers Game 7, NBA Western Conference Quarterfinals Patriots vs. Seahawks, Super Bowl – WINNER
BEST PLAY (bracket-style) Odell Beckham catch vs. 16. Albany goalie lacrosse goal – WINNER Bahamas Bowl Hail Mary vs. 15. Dwayne Bravo cricket catch Lionel Messi goal vs. 14. Jerian Grant dunk Malcolm Butler INT vs. 13. Josh Sheehan triple back flip Stephen Curry step back 3 vs. 12. Ameer Abdullah TD run Ronda Rousey armbar vs. 11. Gerald Green dunk off the glass Tyler Ennis goal vs. 10. Shoni Schimmel circus shot Kevin Pillar catch vs. 9. Jeremy Menez goal
BEST COACH/MANAGER Geno Auriemma, UConn Huskies Bill Belichick, New England Patriots Steve Kerr, Golden State Warriors – WINNER Mike Krzyzewski, Duke Blue Devils Urban Meyer, Ohio State Buckeyes
BEST INTERNATIONAL ATHLETE Novak Djokovic, ATP Lewis Hamilton, Formula One Lydia Ko, LPGA Lionel Messi, Barcelona/Argentina – WINNER Cristiano Ronaldo, Real Madrid/Portugal
BEST DRIVER Erica Enders-Stevens, NHRA Lewis Hamilton, Formula One Kevin Harvick, NASCAR – WINNER Juan Pablo Montoya, IndyCar Will Power, IndyCar
BEST NBA PLAYER Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors – WINNER Anthony Davis, New Orleans Pelicans James Harden, Houston Rockets LeBron James, Cleveland Cavaliers Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City Thunder
BEST WNBA PLAYER Skylar Diggins, Tulsa Shock – WINNER Brittney Griner, Phoenix Mercury Maya Moore, Minnesota Lynx Candace Parker, Los Angeles Sparks Diana Taurasi, Phoenix Mercury
BEST FIGHTER Donald Cerrone, MMA Terence Crawford, Boxing Gennady Golovkin (GGG), Boxing Floyd Mayweather Jr, Boxing Ronda Rousey, MMA – WINNER
BEST JOCKEY Javier Castellano Victor Espinoza – WINNER Joel Rosario
BEST MALE GOLFER Rory McIlroy Jordan Spieth – WINNER Billy Horschel
BEST FEMALE GOLFER Lydia Ko – WINNER Stacy Lewis Inbee Park
BEST MALE TENNIS PLAYER Marin Cilic Novak Djokovic – WINNER Roger Federer Stan Wawrinka
BEST FEMALE TENNIS PLAYER Simona Halep Petra Kvitova Maria Sharapova Serena Williams – WINNER
BEST MALE COLLEGE ATHLETE Jack Eichel, Boston University Hockey Frank Kaminsky, Wisconsin Basketball Marcus Mariota, Oregon Football – WINNER Logan Stieber, Ohio State Wrestling Dansby Swanson, Vanderbilt Baseball
BEST FEMALE COLLEGE ATHLETE Taylor Cummings, Maryland Lacrosse Missy Franklin, Cal Swimming – WINNER Lauren Haeger, Florida Softball Micha Hancock, Penn State Volleyball Breanna Stewart, Connecticut Basketball
BEST MALE ACTION SPORTS ATHLETE Ryan Dungey, Motocross – WINNER Tucker Hibbert, SnoCross Nyjah Huston, Skateboarding Mark McMorris, Snowboarding Josh Sheehan, Freestyle Motocross
BEST FEMALE ACTION SPORTS ATHLETE Paige Alms, Surfing Kelly Clark, Snowboarding – WINNER Stephanie Gilmore, Surfing Laia Sanz, Enduro/motorbike
BEST BOWLER Jason Belmonte – WINNER Parker Bohn III Mike Fagan
BEST MLS PLAYER Robbie Keane, Los Angeles Galaxy – WINNER Obafemi Martins, Seattle Sounders Lee Nguyen, New England Revolution Bradley Wright-Phillips, New York Red Bulls
BEST MALE ATHLETE WITH A DISABILITY Joe Berenyi, Cycling Josh Pauls, Sled Hockey Krige Schabort, Triathlon – WINNER Mike Shea, Snowboarding Andy Soule, Nordic Skiing
BEST FEMALE ATHLETE WITH A DISABILITY Kendall Gretsch, Triathlon Oksana Masters, Nordic Skiing Tatyana McFadden, Track and Field Becca Meyers, Swimming – WINNER Greta Neimanas, Cycling
BEST TEAM 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup winners, US Women’s National Soccer Team
ESPY ICON AWARD Derek Jeter, former New York Yankees shortstop
JIMMY V. PERSEVERANCE AWARD Cincinnati Bengals defensive tackle Devon Still and his 5-year-old daughter Leah, who is in remission from neuroblastoma
PAT TILLMAN AWARD FOR SERVICE Army veteran Danielle Green
ARTHUR ASHE COURAGE AWARD Caitlyn Jenner