OPINION: Who Is The Greatest Fighter Of All Time? Let’s Discuss
I thought it would be a fun idea to write an article that will have people debating. And what better topic to do that than who really is the greatest fighter in MMA history? The GOAT. It’s certainly one that gets people going.
I will be covering four fighters who have done enough in their respective career to solidify themselves as some of the best fighters of all time. In my eyes, those four fighters include Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson, Anderson “The Spider” Silva, Georges “Rush” St. Pierre, and Jon “Bones” Jones. Let’s get into it.
Ranked at #4 of all time from my point of view would be Demetrious Johnson. In the current MMA landscape, Johnson is for sure the #1 pound-for-pound fighter in the world. Since he is on the top of the pound-for-pound list, many fight fans believe he truly is the greatest of all time, and to some respects, I can see their argument. The man just seems unstoppable. He holds a record of 27-2-1, with his last loss coming all the way back in 2011. That loss was in a different weight class and at the hands of one of the best bantamweights of all time, Dominick Cruz.
Since then, “Mighty Mouse” has won 13 consecutive bouts, with six of those coming by stoppage. Back on September 22, 2012, Johnson defeated Joseph Benavidez to win the inaugural UFC flyweight championship, and he has never looked back. Since then, Johnson has cut through the entire division, and has set the record for most title defenses, at 11, after he submitted Ray Borg is highlight-reel fashion at UFC 216. The only argument against DJ and his path to greatness is his competition. The people he has fought and defeated aren’t nearly as high skilled as the other guys on my list. However, if Demetrious keeps driving on the path he’s on, he will certainly keep climbing the greatest of all time rankings.
Before Demetrious Johnson, this next man held the record for most consecutive title defenses of all time: Anderson Silva, the greatest middleweight of all time. Is he the greatest fighter in MMA history? Some sure think so. He is good enough to land at #3 on my list. Anderson Silva is known for his ability to trick his opponents into falling into his game plan, which ultimately doesn’t end well for them. Silva was crowned the middleweight champ back in 2006, and has proven over those years why he belongs on this list.
Since the day he won the belt, up until the night he lost it to Chris Weidman, Anderson tallied 14 consecutive victories, with 11 (!!!) coming by stoppage. Silva was just a dominant force in the Octagon, who faced great competition like Vitor Belfort, Dan Henderson, Forrest Griffin, Rich Franklin, and many more. He shut down those men with ease it seemed, and ran the entire middleweight division over a span of six years or so. However, the reason he isn’t in the #1 or #2 slot is what is going on in our current day and age. He just recently got flagged for his second positive drug test, but more importantly, he has gone 1-4-1 in his last six bouts and is tarnishing his legacy. Silva should step away from the sport now, as he has done enough in his career to solidify himself as one of the best.
GEORGES ST PIERRE
Coming in at #2 is none other than fan favorite, Georges St Pierre. The Canadian holds an astonishing record at 26-2, and has been crowned both the welterweight and middleweight title over his career. The thing I respect most about St Pierre is the competition he’s faced and shut down, and his ability to avenge his only two losses. His first loss came at the hands of the great Matt Hughes, who he ended up finishing two years later in a rematch and once more the following year. One of the most shocking moments in UFC history was the second loss that GSP took, when Matt Serra knocked out him out in the first round of a welterweight title fight. That title reign for Serra didn’t last long because GSP got revenge a year later.
St Pierre has won 13 fights in a row since that first Matt Serra fight, beating the names of Michael Bisping, Nick Diaz, Carlos Condit, B.J. Penn, and plenty of others. GSP retired from the sport back in 2013 after a brawl with Johny Hendricks. He revealed later on that he couldn’t take the stress and criticism that came along with being one of the most popular UFC fighters. It was also said that he didn’t want to put too much damage on his brain and body, which is understandable. As with most MMA retirements, that retirement wasn’t forever, as we all know he jumped ahead of arguably the most stacked division in the UFC to beat Michael Bisping for the undisputed middleweight title on November 4, of this year. He defeated Bisping and it looked like he never missed a beat. Since that fight, he has relinquished the title, and in my opinion, will never fight again. Being able to capture two UFC titles over the years and constantly facing top notch competition in that time lands GSP at #2 on my list.
Last but certainly not least, the greatest fighter of all time, Jon “Bones” Jones. Many, and I mean many people probably have their own opinions to say about this man. Probably the biggest waste of a career in some eyes, but I still think he’s done enough to land at #1. As we all know, Jones has had plenty of things thrown at him in his career. Out of the Octagon troubles and two positive drug tests has had people throw ‘Bones‘ out of the conversation for the greatest of all time. But I haven’t. The skill this man displays inside the Octagon is truly nothing we have seen before. He has never taken a real loss in the cage, even though his record currently stands at 22-1-1, he has a loss from a disqualification from an illegal elbow, and a no-contest after being flagged by USADA after his defeat of Daniel Cormier at UFC 214.
Will we ever see Jones again since he is facing a four year suspension? Who knows? But what he has done up to this point is unmatchable. Jones won the belt in March 2011, becoming the youngest champ in UFC history at the age of 23. Jones defeated “Shogun” Rua that night, and has destroyed the competition since. He won nine consecutive fights after winning the title, facing the best the light heavyweight division had to offer. The main reason Jones is at #1 for me is the strength of competition. He has the best track record of all time. Daniel Cormier, Glover Teixeira, Alexander Gustafsson, Chael Sonnen, Lyoto Machita and SO many more. The list literally goes on and on. His dominance and control of the Octagon when he steps in is just amazing to watch. His fights are thrilling, and he has the best skill set I have ever seen. Those are the reasons Jon Jones is the greatest MMA fighter of all time.