Despite having what many (including myself) feel is, without a doubt, the greatest year in the history of mixed martial arts, Jon Jones did not receive a single vote in the AP vote for Athlete of the Year. To Mike Chiapetta of MMA Fighting, this was proof that it is the mainstream that needs to catch up to MMA, not vice versa.
From the article:
I'm not arguing that Jones should have won the award. The winner, Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, had an amazing calendar year. He won the Super Bowl, led his team to a 19-game win streak and has them in position to possibly repeat. Runner-up Justin Verlander of the Detroit Tigers won both the American League Most Valuable Player and Cy Young awards, the first pitcher to do that in 27 years. Third-place went to tennis star Novak Djokovic, who won 10 tournaments -- including three majors -- and finished the year with an exceptional 70-6 record.
Jones, MMA Fighting's Fighter of the Year, had arguably the best calendar year in MMA history, winning four matches overall, defeating three former UFC champions and becoming the youngest title holder in UFC history. He wasn't exactly invisible doing it, either. He was a guest on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Jimmy Kimmel Live, and on the day of his title win, helped thwart a robbery, an act that resulted in major national attention.
If a boxer like Manny Pacquiao or Floyd Mayweather put together a year like that, you better believe that they would have earned votes.
But because Jones fights in a cage instead of a ring, his accomplishments go unappreciated and unrecognized. It's not like this was a small sample size; 212 alleged experts in sports cast ballots for the award.
The problem with saying this is an example of a larger ignorance of MMA is that to vote for Jones meant that the voters would have had to have not voted for who they truly felt was deserving of the award. Yes, maybe some (most) of the voters are ignorant of MMA, but would more information have caused them to vote for Jones over Rogers? Is a courtesy vote really that important?LINK