Demetrious Johnson Explains Why Jon Jones is The GOAT

There's been a lot of talk lately about who is the greatest fighter of all time, but Demetrious Johnson says Jon Jones holds the GOAT title.

Following Khabib Nurmagomedov’s impressive win at UFC 254, the debate about who is the greatest fighter of all time has spiked all over again. Well, according to a man who has also been mentioned in that debate over the years, Demetrious Johnson, Jon Jones is the GOAT.

Jon Jones
Image Credit: UFC / YouTube

Johnson outlines why he thinks Jones is the GOAT

In recent years, the consensus seemed to be that Jones was the greatest fighter of all time. Stars like Anderson Silva, Georges St-Pierre, Fedor Emelianenko and Johnson would also get mentioned in those discussions. 

But, after Khabib choked out Justin Gaethje last month, and announced he was retiring at 29-0, there was no shortage of people claiming Nurmagomedov is now the GOAT (and Jones proceeded to publicly battle that opinion).

Well, recently Johnson spoke with MMA Junkie, and while discussing who is the GOAT, the former UFC champ said this.

“Jon Jones has gotta be No. 1 for me,” Johnson said. “His title reign, I’ve seen him train before, how he’s beaten so many great light heavyweights before.

And then after that it starts to get cloudy, I’m not gonna lie. I think there are athletes that are on their way, like if Khabib would keep on fighting and do five or six or seven or eight more fights, then I’ll definitely throw him in.

“For me, I like to see longevity. I like to see dominance.

Longevity is a big thing. When you look at Jon Jones, I think he’s 15 world title fights?

That’s a lot of work of staying motivated, staying on top to keep on winning. I think Izzy (Israel Adesanya) is on his way.

If he goes up to light heavyweight and beats the champion there, and he goes up to fight Jon Jones, he’s definitely on his way.”

And Johnson also had this to say about ‘Bones’.

“Jon Jones, look at his grappling, look at his hands, look at his submissions, look at how long he’s been a champion.”


It’s an interesting debate, and if longevity is a crucial component in your analysis, it’s hard to argue with Johnson here. Jones has faced the best-of-the-best at light-heavyweight for over a decade now, and he has yet to incur a legitimate defeat.

But, many Khabib boosters have argued that he’s been more dominant than Jones, and it’s also hard to argue with that. Jones is coming off back-to-back, narrow wins over Thiago Santos and Dominick Reyes (and a lot of people scored the Reyes’ fight for the challenger).

Some observers also argue that Jones’ USADA flags disqualify him from the discussion. Even if Jones and others have claimed the evidence backs his contention he didn’t knowingly take banned substances.

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