An active MMA superstar compared himself to Michael Jordan and Babe Ruth on Saturday via social media, and it’s the one who probably has as good a case as any other fighter in the sport. UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones made the comparison when he answered a fan’s criticism of his most recent performance on Twitter.
“Babe Ruth Michael Jordan, all the best at any sport lost games. My fights aren’t even allowed to be competitive. I got the message though, I’ll kick it up,” Jones tweeted.
That alone probably wouldn’t suffice to be considered a comparison to Jordan and Ruth. After all, Jones was only presenting the idea that all the best athletes from any sport usually lose.
But Jones posted another response a few minutes later which suggested the 32-year-old does believe he already sits among that kind of elite company, at least within the pantheon of MMA greats.
“I’m already the greatest light heavyweight there’s ever been. GOAT conversation [has] been over. As far as pound for pound best, been in and out of that conversation my entire career, that’s always just going to be an opinion,” Jones tweeted.
The G.O.A.T. conversation, of course, refers to the “greatest of all-time” in the sport. Jones is listed among the very few elite stars in that conversation with Georges St. Pierre being perhaps the biggest rival to that claim at the present.
Follow the Heavy on UFC Facebook page for the latest breaking news, rumors and content!
How Jones Is Similar to Jordan and Ruth
But Jones is very much already the Jordan and Ruth of his sport, at least in some ways.
Like Jordan, Jones was an immediate success the likes of which are rarely seen. Even rarer, though, was how Jones has maintained his level of excellence over a long period. Jordan wasn’t just the best NBA player for a couple of years. Jordan was the best player for almost the entire time he was in the league (minus his brief comeback with the Washington Wizards).
Jones has done the same kind of thing in MMA. He was arguably the best fighter of the last two decades. Even at age 32, he remains today the No. 1 fighter in the sport.
That also makes him similar to Ruth, of course. Ruth’s amazing numbers as both a tremendous slugger and a peerless pitcher (the latter of which is sometimes forgotten) made him way ahead of his time as a professional athlete in his sport.
Jones has also seemed similarly advanced compared to his peers.
How Jones Might Be Dissimilar to Jordan and Ruth
As excellent as Jones has been over his 12 years in the sport, the UFC’s greatest light heavyweight ever has never quite been the most popular fighter in his sport, at least for a long enough period to compare to how Jordan and Ruth were during their heydays.
For example, the starlight of Irish superstar Conor McGregor, and perhaps even retired women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey, seem to have burned way brighter for those fighters than they ever quite did for Jones.
Still, Jones’ career isn’t over yet. He remains on top of his game and could be on his way to making a big jump up to the heavyweight ranks soon. He arguably has earned the best resume in MMA history already, scoring dominant wins over the likes of Quinton “Rampage” Jackson, Lyoto Machida, Rashad Evans, Vitor Belfort, Daniel Cormier, Chael Sonnen and Alexander Gustafsson, and he might not yet be done adding to it.