We are doing something special this week. We are doing the Greatest of All Time (G.O.A.T) week. Each day this week, a different staff member will present their argument why a certain fighter is the greatest MMA fighter of all time. Five different writers arguing for five different fighters. Today, we are looking at Jon “Bones” Jones
Why Jon “Bones” Jones is the Greatest MMA Fighter of All-Time by Keith Shillan
Before I tell you why Jon “Bones” Jones is the greatest MMA fighter of All-Time, I would like to make a disclaimer. I am at a huge advantage during this segment for two reasons. First, I got to go last and got to read the arguments for the four other fighters. Second, I got Jon Jones, the actual GOAT to argue for.
To be honest, I don’t even have to talk about how great Jones is. All I am gonna do is show the weakness in the other fighters that have been argued for the GOAT and show how Jones doesn’t have that same weakness.
First up is Fedor Emelianenko. The strongest argument is that he was undefeated for nine years and won 27 fights in a row (Not counting a No-Contest). But when you look at his resume, it isn’t nearly as impressive. 10 of those wins were against absolute nobodies in MMA. Renato Sobral, and Kevin Randleman were B level Light Heavyweights. Semmy Schilt was a one-dimensional kickboxer. Mark Coleman, Tsuyoshi Kohsaka and Gary Goodridge were all way past their primes. Mark Hunt was beaten before his prime and was coming off a loss. Heath Herring and Kazuyuki Fujita were B level heavyweights. Matt Lindland was a Middleweight that Emelianenko had to keep grabbing the ropes from being taking down. He beat Andrei Arlovski, Tim Sylvia, and Brett Rodgers while all three were on a huge losing streaks or starting a huge losing streak. So when you actually look at his wins during the streak, only his wins over Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic and Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira were that impressive.
Now let’s compare that to Jones resume. Jones has been undefeated for eight years (and counting) and has won 24 wins in a row. During that streak, he has beaten top fighters like Ryan Bader, Mauricio “Shogun” Rua, Quinton Jackson, Lyota Machida, Rashad Evans, Vitor Belfort, Chael Sonnen, Alexander Gustafsson, Glover Teixeira, and Daniel Cormier (twice). The resumes aren’t even close.
So on to Demetrious Johnson. Johnson is a wizard and so technically good, but against who? Johnson is considered the greatest flyweight ever. Who are the other great flyweights? Joseph Benavidez? Henry Cejudo? John Dodson? Ian McCall?. Now Jones is considered the greatest Light Heavyweight ever. That is a title chosen over Chuck Liddell, Randy Couture, Dan Henderson, Mauricio Shogun, Wanderlei Silva, Quinton Jackson, Kazushi Sakuraba, Tito Ortiz, Vitor Belfort, Forrest Griffin, Rashad Evans, Lyota Machida, Daniel Cormier. Should I keep going? Let’s not forget that Johnson has never beaten a UFC champion, while Jones has beaten six of them.
Next up is Anderson Silva. The biggest issue with Anderson Silva is that he has a glaring weakness. He was never a great wrestler. Travis Lutter took him down and mounted him. Dan Henderson took him down and easily won the first round of the fight before he decided to keep the fight standing for some odd reason. Chael Sonnen dominated him with wrestling in the first fight until he had a brain fart. He was doing it again in the second fight until Silva held his shorts to stop a takedown (watch it if you don’t remember). Does Jones have a weakness? He outwrestled wrestlers (Hamill, Vera, Matyushenko, Bader, Sonnen, Cormier). He out grappled Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu blackbelts (Machida, Belfort), and have out struck strikers (Rua, Gustafsson, Teixeira). When has Silva outwrestled anybody? Jones didn’t just beat you. He beat you at your own game.
Lastly is Georges St. Pierre. I love him. However, he was so conservative. He was the king of lay and pray. Jones is exciting. He dominated a fight with standing elbows. He dominated with spinning kicks, spinning back punches, and spinning elbows. He has even suplexed an opponent. St. Pierre stopped one fighter during a title defense, while Jones has stopped six opponents during title fights.
So when people talk about Jones the only negative the usually say about him is he doesn’t have any longevity. He doesn’t? He has 18 wins in the UFC, more than Silva. Only two less than St. Pierre.
The other negative against Jones is his out of the cage issues. Those issues have nothing to do with how great of a fighter he is. This argument isn’t that Jones is a great person or great ambassador of the sport. It is that he is the greatest fighter ever.
Jon Jones is the youngest champion in UFC history. The scary thing is at 30 years old, we might not have even seen his prime yet. Sure he has some major drug issues but if he can get/stay clean, we might even see the best Jon Jones ever.
So in closing, Jones has the skills, record, and resumes to be the slam dunk greatest fighter of All-Time.
Also, Jones has one more claim that none of the other fighters can say. Nobody has beaten him.
* During this whole argument, I didn’t count a disqualification loss to Matt Hamill against him. Watch that fight and tell me if you count that as a loss.