To celebrate 25 years of existence, the UFC publishes a list of the top 25 fights in the promotion’s history. The McGregor vs. Diaz rivalry is awarded the top two spots. The first fight, which Diaz memorably won by submission is the runner-up to the dramatic five-round majority decision won by McGregor.
#5 – Frankie Edgar vs. Gray Maynard II (January 2011)
#4 – Robbie Lawler vs. Rory MacDonald II (July 2015)
#3 – Mauricio Rua vs. Dan Henderson I (November 2011)
#2 – Conor McGregor vs. Nate Diaz I (March 2016)
#1 – Conor McGregor vs. Nate Diaz II (August 2016)
The UFC confirms McGregor has vacated his featherweight title, and that Aldo, who defeated Frankie Edgar for the interim title at UFC 200 in July 2016, is now the undisputed champion of the division. The UFC 206 main event on Dec. 10 between Max Holloway and former lightweight champion Anthony Pettis will be contested for the interim featherweight title.
Sting will be inducted into the hall of fame in 2016. Paul Levesque, who portrays Triple H and is also a WWE executive:
We are truly honored to have Sting take his rightful place in the WWE Hall of Fame. His contributions to our industry are unprecedented, and we look forward to celebrating his incredible career with fans all over the world.
Harper ranks second in the baseball tournament Top 25 under 25 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The results are selected by a panel of MLB.com and MLB Network analysts, including two former Major League general managers. The top spot goes to to L.A. Angels’ Mike Trout.
Leonard wins the NBA Defensive Player of the Year award. He helped the Spurs finish 3rd in defensive rating, with 99.6 points allowed per 100 possessions. Leonard joins Michael Jordan and Hakeem Olajuwon as the only two players to ever win both a Defensive Player of the Year award and a Finals MVP award. Leonard:
It feels great. Growing up as a kid, you’re watching these players and you want to become who they are or get the accolades that they have. It just shows that hard work pays off.
Leonard wins the NBA Finals MVP in a landslide vote. For the series, he averaged 17.8 points on 61% shooting. He also had the role of guarding LeBron James. Coach Popovich:
He’s a great learner and he’s super competitive, has a drive to be the best that’s really uncommon in our league. He walks the walk. I mean, he’s there early, he’s there late. He wants more. He wants me and the coaches to push him. So I just talked to him about not being in that defer sort of stage. The hell with Tony, the hell with Timmy, the hell with Manu, you play the game. You are the man.
Right now, it’s just surreal to me. I have a great group of guys behind me.
Durant wins his first NBA Most Valuable Player award. He averaged 32 points, 7.4 rebounds, and 5.5 assists for the season, and led his team to a 59-23 record. During his acceptance speech, Durant thanks his mother:
You made us believe, you kept us off the streets, put clothes on our backs, put food on the table. You the real MVP.
Durant also adds:
Everything in my life, I had to take it. They’re not going to give it to you out of sympathy. I wouldn’t want it any other way. This was another case, if I wanted to win the MVP, I had to go take it. I felt that this was the year I did that.
James wins his fourth NBA Most Valuable Player award. James almost has a unanimous MVP selection, garnering 120 out of 121 first-place votes for the award. James averaged 26.8 points, 8.0 rebounds, and 7.3 assists per game for the season. He shot 56.5% from the floor and 40.6% from 3-point range. Heat president Pat Riley on James:
Over these 46 years, I’ve had an opportunity to see some great players — and all the ones I’ve observed, watched and have seen, they’ve always gotten better. In my humble opinion, I believe the man right here is the best of them all.