As a recap, most “Fighter of the Year” awards on other sites are really “Breakout Fighter of the Year” awards in that fighters who win, were usually not top fighters in the beginning of the year, but became so by the end of the year.
A fighter like this can and has won our FotY awards, but our award is more about maintaining a high standing during the award year by performing well a sufficient number of times and against sufficient quality of opponents. It is more comparable to a season MVP, not a playoffs/surprise MVP.
Winner: Jose Aldo
It was a quiet year for elite fighters, but Aldo held steady, again, defending his UFC title twice in the same year. As low as twice sounds, try finding better in 2014.
Runner-Up: Demetrious Johnson
After winning the award in 2013, Aldo edges him out for 2014. Like Aldo, he defended his UFC title twice but against lesser competition.
3rd Place: Robbie Lawler
Surely the pick for FotY from a “breakthrough” perspective, Lawler finally made it to the top of the Welterweight mountain just before the year ended. After going 3-1 in 2014, it will be interesting to see if Lawler can stay at the top of the heap.