A number of MMA fighters have been nominated for the ESPN Fighter of the Year, including Randy Couture, Quinton “Rampage” Jackson, Jon Jones, Lyoto Machida, Anderson Silva, and Georges St-Pierre.
Fighters have been nominated in two other categories as well. Frankie Edgar was nominated for the 'Upset of the Year' in 2010, and Edson Barboza was a nominee for 'Best Play' for his wheel kick knockout of Terry Etim at UFC 142. They didn't win either.
Prior to 2007, MMA fighters were ineligible for voting, as the relevant category prior to that time was Boxer of the Year, rather than the current Fighter of the Year, which covers boxing and MMA.
Winners to date in the category are:
2007: Floyd Mayweather Jr.
2008: Floyd Mayweather Jr.
2009: Manny Pacquiao
2010: Floyd Mayweather Jr.
2011: Manny Pacquiao
2012: Floyd Mayweather Jr.
2013: Floyd Mayweather Jr.
This year there are five figures up for the ESPY (Excellence in Sports Performance Yearly) in the fighter category:
Floyd Mayweather Jr.
FMJ won again, but as a point of consolation, Jon Jones would crush him like a bug. In fact, as Joe Rogan points out in an interview in the August issue of Inked magazine, a college wrestler would crush him.
"Although not considered a martial art, boxing is really a martial art. It's a very limited martial art as long as you agree to just box. It's only hands. There are no kicks; there are no takedowns. It's effective in competition, but in an actual physical fight against someone who's just a wrestler, you're going to get killed.
"Floyd Mayweather would get killed by an average college wrestler. There would be no competition. If you took Floyd Mayweather today and made him fight against your average college wrestler, that college wrestler is going to shoot on him, pick him up, drop him on his head, and knock him out. There's nothing that Floyd can do about it. He's going to get knocked out by getting slammed on his head.
"A judo guy would do the same thing to him. A jujitsu guy would strangle him, no question about it."