Andrew Richardson-USA TODAY Spor
While he remained on top through 2013, Jon Jones' calendar year fell well short of what he accomplished in 2011 and 2012. A bout with Chael Sonnen was viewed as a gimme win. Then, "Bones" barely edged Alexander Gustafsson in a narrow decision at UFC 165.
Ronda Rousey had a strong 2013, defending her new women's bantamweight title two times. However, a coaching gig on The Ultimate Fighter 18 kept her from remaining active throughout the past 12 months. Wins over Liz Carmouche and Miesha Tate, whom she had already beaten under the Strikeforce banner, simply weren't enough to make her one of the 10 most accomplished fighters in 2013.
It was another unbeaten year for Georges St-Pierre, but just barely. After beating Nick Diaz, who was coming off of a loss and didn't deserve a shot at the Canadian champion, St-Pierre met Johny Hendricks.
While St-Pierre did enough to retain his belt on the scorecards in his second bout during 2013, many felt Hendricks should have dethroned the long-reigning titleholder, who ended up relinquishing his strap for personal reasons anyway.
With a 3-0 2013 campaign, Glover Teixeira emerged as the top light heavyweight contender heading into 2014. The Brazilian defeated Quinton Jackson, James Te Huna and Ryan Bader over the past 12 months. While those wins can't be ignored, Teixeira didn't beat any current top-10 fighters, which hurt his Fighter of the Year candidacy.
It was a year of Brazilian rematches for Cain Velasquez in 2013. First, the heavyweight champion picked up another dominant win over Antonio Silva. Then, in a more awe-inspiring performance, Velasquez stopped rival Junior dos Santos during the fifth round of a rubber match.