The ESPYs are voted on by fans and were awarded Wednesday night in Los Angeles.
Jones and Silva have each been nominated for the award three times since its inception in 2007, but no mixed martial artist has ever won it. Mayweather has won the award five times, while Manny Pacquiao has won it on two occasions.
ESPY voting takes place online and is open until the time the award is handed out, so much of the voting came after Silva got knocked out by Chris Weidman at UFC 162 on July 6.
While fans may have voted Mayweather the top fighter, UFC broadcaster Joe Rogan, in the August issue of Inked magazine, pointed out that boxing is too limited when comparing fighters from that sport to mixed martial arts.
“MMA for sure is more of a realistic contest, more of a realistic test as far as using the body in martial arts competition,” said Rogan. “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.”
He went on, specifically pointing to Mayweather and the limited skill set that boxing provides.
“Floyd Mayweather would get killed by an average college wrestler. There would be no competition,” Rogan proclaimed.
“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.”