The Six Fighters That 'Defined' Combat Sports This Decade Have Been Revealed
Floyd Mayweather, Conor McGregor and Ronda Rousey have been named in ESPN's decade-defining fighters for combat sports.
The publication produced two separate features that picked three of the biggest fighters that impacted boxing and three for MMA.
ESPN's three-man boxing list featured Mayweather alongside fierce rivals Canelo Alvarez and Manny Pacquiao.
Steve Kim said that Mayweather, who retired undefeated after his blockbuster clash with McGregor, was the "premiere pound-for-pound boxer on the planet this decade."
Dan Rafael praised Alvarez and said that his one loss to Mayweather is "certainly forgivable."
According to ESPN, the 29-year-old Mexican superstar "established himself as the pay-per-view king after Mayweather's retirement."
Just like Alvarez and Mayweather, Pacquiao was showered with praise and Timothy Bradley suggested that he is "definitely a top-five all-time fighter."
Bradley added that there will "never be another Manny Pacquiao" and the 41-year-old Filipino superstar is 'a once-in-a-lifetime fighter.'
ESPN's picks for the three MMA fighters placed McGregor and Rousey alongside UFC legend Jon Jones.
McGregor, who is preparing for his UFC comeback in 2020, became a blockbuster star for MMA and built a lasting legacy inside the octagon.
According to Brett Okamoto, there is no other "fighter in the history of mixed martial arts [that] has made a greater impact on the sport than McGregor has over the past decade."
Jones, despite his controversies, is top of the UFC pound-for-pound rankings and has remained undefeated this decade.
ESPN's Jeff Wagenheim called the 32-year-old the "gold standard of sustained excellence inside the cage."
Rousey, who is widely regarded as a pioneer for women in combat sports, became the first female fighter inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame.
Despite her back-to-back devastating defeats to Holly Holm and Amanda Nunes, ESPN's Marc Raimondi said that the 32-year-old ex-UFC superstar's "legacy was already cemented."
Featured Image Credit: PA/Associated Press