The UFC, and MMA as a whole, has only just gotten things started in 2013. However, several fighters have already gotten a head start at being recognized as the best fighter of the calendar year.
In two months, four UFC champions have already defended their titles. Bellator MMA's debut season on Spike TV has seen six championship bouts, with two new titleholders emerging from the promotion's grueling tournament format.
Additionally, Strikeforce held its final event, which closed with a Tarec Saffiedine upset of Nate Marquardt that allowed the Team Quest product to become the organization's final welterweight champion.
There's no doubt 2013 has gotten off to an excellent start, and the year is sure to produce many more memorable moments in the months to come.
Before we move ahead, though, let's take a look back at the five fighters who have put themselves out in front in the race for fighter of the year.