Gallery: Sports stars turn out for ESPY Awards
Published: July 18, 2014 11:53AM
Updated: July 17, 2014 04:43PM
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Team captain Clint Dempsey, center, and fellow members of the U.S. men's soccer team accept the award for best moment, at the ESPY Awards at the Nokia Theatre on Wednesday, July 16, 2014, in Los Angeles. (Photo by John Shearer/Invision/AP)

Los Angeles • Kevin Durant won two ESPY Awards, including male athlete of the year, and mixed martial arts star Ronda Rousey earned female athlete honors, becoming the first UFC fighter to claim a trophy in the biggest category at the show honoring the year’s best performances Wednesday night.

Durant also won best NBA player, ending LeBron James’ two-year reign in both categories.

“Everybody helped me out along the way,” the Oklahoma City Thunder star said. “My beautiful mom watching at home who couldn’t be here. My favorite teammate, Russell Westbrook.”

Durant beat out fellow male athlete nominees Miguel Cabrera of the Detroit Tigers, Peyton Manning of the Denver Broncos and boxer Floyd Mayweather during the show hosted by rapper Drake at the Nokia Theatre.

Rousey, the first female UFC champion, won over WNBA star Maya Moore, Olympic champion skier Mikaela Shiffrin and Brenna Stewart of national champion Connecticut.

The winners in most categories were determined by fan voting.

Rousey didn’t attend, with presenter Chrissy Teigen saying the fighter had surgery a day earlier.

Manning didn’t go home empty-handed. He collected two trophies: best NFL player and record-breaking performance. Manning won his fifth MVP award last season, when he set single-season records by passing for 55 touchdowns and more than 5,500 yards.

The Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks won best team. Their All-Pro cornerback, Richard Sherman, won breakthrough athlete.

The best game was the Iron Bowl matchup between No. 1 Alabama and No. 4 Auburn, with the Tigers winning 34-28 on the final play to spoil the Tide’s BCS hopes.

Led by goalie Tim Howard, the U.S. men’s soccer team won best moment for its run to the round of 16 in the World Cup.

Soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo of Portugal won best international athlete.

Drake zinged Howard and Sherman in his opening monologue. The rapper joked about banned Clippers owner Donald Sterling, saying, “We’re a few hundred yards from Staples Center, which is as close as Donald Sterling is allowed to get.”

Olympic snowboarders Jamie Anderson and Park City’s Sage Kotsenburg won best female and male Olympian. Kotsenburg won the first gold medal of the Sochi Games in men’s snowboard slopestyle.

The Arthur Ashe Courage award went to St. Louis Rams draftee Michael Sam, who announced earlier this year that he is gay. The former Missouri defensive end will be trying to make the Rams’ roster when training camp opens. If he does, Sam would be the NFL’s first openly gay player.