But can either of them edge out last year’s winner, boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr., who is also nominated again this year?
Rounding out the 2013 nominees are Mayweather’s fellow boxers Danny Garcia and Canelo Alvarez.
This is the third time each for Silva and Jones to be nominated for the award. Jones has been nominated three years in a row, while Silva was nominated for the award in 2009, 2012, and 2013.
Silva (33-4) has not lost in the Octagon since making his UFC debut in 2006. He has won 16 consecutive UFC bouts, has held the middleweight championship since late 2006, and set numerous other records.
He defeated Stephan Bonnar and Chael Sonnen last year, but hasn’t fought yet in 2013. Silva is slated to defend his belt against Chris Weidman at UFC 162 on July 6 in Las Vegas.
Jones (18-1) has just one blemish on his record, a highly debated disqualification loss to Matt Hamill in late 2009. He has since won nine consecutive bouts, including victories over the likes of Mauricio “Shogun” Rua, Lyoto Machida, Rashad Evans, Vitor Belfort, and Chael Sonnen.
The 2013 ESPY nominees were announced Thursday. Voting is available at ESPN.com until July 17 at 9 p.m. ET, at which time the awards will be handed out on ESPN.