Lyoto Machida and Anderson Silva have been nominated for the 2009 ESPY Awards in the category of "Best Fighter."
According to Cagepotato, according to MMA Junkie, according to "an ESPN spokesperson," (see how that works) the light heavyweight and middleweight champs will be up against boxing's Shane Mosley and Manny Pacquiao for the honor of "Best Fighter" of 2009.
These are interesting choices -good choices- but not ones that are likely to win. At some point, Machida, who is yet to lose a professional fight in 15 tries, will probably be discussed among the greatest and most influential fighters to ever live. He is at the top of the world right now and still rising, but he only recently began to gain the notoriety he deserves. Fans have long been making the mistake of interpreting his "boring" style as a lack of talent. In his destruction of Rashad Evans to earn the light heavyweight belt, the masses finally began to understand the beauty and brilliance of Machida's style but in terms of winning this award, he still probably hasn't convinced enough people to beat the front-running Pacquiao... yet.
Silva, on the other hand, has topped pound-for-pound lists for a long time, but of late has been a victim of his own success. The two lackluster performances against Patrick Cote and Thales Leites were nothing more than an unfortunate byproduct of his dominance -simply, people are scared to fight him. He's had to take in a lot of unwarranted criticism this year and unfortunately it's not likely to stop until he faces a worthy opponent, or at least one who isn't afraid to stand in front of him.
But hey, it's an honor just to be nominated.
Just for fun, though, you should probably head to ESPN.com and submit your vote anyway. Crazier things have happened.