The debate has been raging in the MMA community since Nurmagomedov defeated Justin Gaethje at UFC 254 on October 24. “Bones” long held the No. 1 spot on the UFC’s male pound-for-pound list, however “The Eagle” snatched the spot when the rankings updated on October 27, knocking Jones to No. 2.
Jones has been vocal online stating that he doesn’t believe Nurmagomedov should be ahead of him in the rankings. Bones believes that he is the greatest of all time (GOAT) and because of that, he should be ranked No. 1 on the list.
Jones (26-1, 1 no-contest) has defended the UFC light heavyweight strap 11 times and won 14 championship bouts. Bones has defeated an impressive number of former champions, including Daniel Cormier, Shogun Rua, Rashad Evans and Lyoto Machida.
Nurmagomedov (29-0) has defended the lightweight belt three times and has won four championship fights. In his last three fights, The Eagle defeated three fighters in the top five of the lightweight division, Justin Gaethje, Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier. All three of those fighters have been champions as well, with McGregor once holding both the featherweight and lightweight titles, and Gaethje and Poirier each holding the interim strap.
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Rogan Gives His Take on the GOAT Argument
During episode No. 98 of the JRE MMA Show, Rogan spoke with CBS Sports’ Luke Thomas. Rogan said that Jones has the more impressive record, but stopped short of proclaiming that Jones is the greatest. You can watch the clip below to watch Rogan’s full breakdown.
“That is the argument right, like who is the GOAT?” Rogan said via Middle Easy. “I think if you look at Jon Jones’s early career, Jon Jones wins the title early in his career, in 2011 and from then on has fought more fights as championship fights than any other fights. So he’s the most accomplished for sure. Wins the title, youngest guy to ever win the title in the UFC, beats Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua who’s a legend, then the way he dominates all these other fighters.”
All the way from his UFC debut until fighting Alexander Gustaffson in 2013, Rogan said Jones was as dominant as Nurmagomedov. In what was one of the greatest title fights in UFC history, Bones was tested by Gustaffson in ways he had never been before. However, he still walked away as the champion, winning by unanimous decision. Jones has been on record stating that he underestimated Gustaffson and he didn’t train hard for the fight. The two rematched in 2018 and Bones won via third-round TKO.
“Up until he gets to Alexander Gustafsson you can make the argument that he had a similar career (as Khabib),” Rogan said. “If you look at what he did. Jon didn’t lose any rounds, Jon was smashing people. Look at what he did to Rashad Evans, look what he did to Rampage Jackson, look at what he did to Lyoto Machida. Everybody he fought, up until the Gustafsson fight. But then with the Gustafsson, how much slack do you give him for admittedly not training?”
“Look at the way he beat Daniel Cormier in the first fight,” Joe Rogan continued. “Took him down, like who the f–k takes Daniel Cormier down, right? Then you look at the second fight, even though it was ruled a no contest we all know what the f–k happened. He headlocked (Cormier) and stopped him. It was spectacular.”
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