Rousey didn’t attend, with presenter Chrissy Teigen saying the fighter had surgery a day earlier.
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.
Gregg Popovich won best coach-manager for guiding the San Antonio Spurs to the NBA championship. Spurs player Kawhi Leonard earned the championship performance award to go with his MVP award from the NBA Finals.
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.
Sam teared up throughout his speech and his voice faltered at times.
“Great things can happen when you have the courage to be yourself,” he told the audience.
Hall of Famer Jim Brown hugged Sam on his way to the stage.
The Ashe award is named for the late tennis player who died in 1993 after contracting AIDS from a blood transfusion.