Demetrious Johnson shares his perspective on the GOAT debate in mixed martial arts and explains why he believes he should be ranked second. Read more to find out his reasoning.
|Demetrious Johnson believes he should be ranked second in the GOAT debate in mixed martial arts.
|He highlights his record-setting 11 consecutive title defenses and success in multiple organizations as reasons for his claim.
|Johnson emphasizes his ability to transition into different things, such as winning a World Grand Prix and an IBJJF Brazilian jiu-jitsu tournament.
|He stops short of placing himself above Jon Jones, but still considers himself ahead of Georges St-Pierre and Anderson Silva.
|Retirement is an option for Johnson following his recent victory in Colorado.
Demetrious Johnson’s Take on the GOAT Debate
Of all the debates in mixed martial arts, not many that consistently remain at the surface are as polarizing as the GOAT discussion. While plenty of names vie for that status in each division, a select few have battled to be crowned the greatest of all time, regardless of weight class.
When it comes to the UFC, the same fighters often appear in people’s lists. The core three have tended to be Jon Jones, Georges St-Pierre, and Anderson Silva, all of whom enjoyed lengthy and dominant championship reigns on the sport’s biggest stage. Elsewhere, the likes of Demetrious Johnson, Khabib Nurmagomedov, BJ Penn, Daniel Cormier, Amanda Nunes, and Henry Cejudo often find themselves in the conversation.
During a video recently uploaded to his YouTube channel, legendary former UFC flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson gave his take on the ever-prevalent GOAT debate. Johnson made history inside the Octagon by completing a record-setting 11 consecutive title defenses. He’s since enjoyed immense success away from the UFC, including ongoing championship glory under the ONE Championship banner and a gold medal at IBJJF Master World Championship this past August.
That ability to reach the pinnacle in multiple places, ‘Mighty Mouse’ believes, is what puts him ahead of St-Pierre and Silva. ‘I just think what I’ve been able to do in mixed martial arts — everyone’s gonna have that one discussion of, ‘Well, the competition that you fought isn’t as good as theirs.’ That’s like saying Michael Jordan wouldn’t have been successful if he played against guys like Stephen Curry, LeBron James,’ Johnson said.
‘For me to be able to have 11 consecutive title defenses and always look for the finish against my opponents… and be able to go to a different organization — where I’m fighting at 135, I’m fighting bigger opponents, different ruleset — was able to win a World Grand Prix… then turn around and fight for the belt, got knocked out, came back and knocked the guy out, then defended the belt, and then after all that I go do an IBJJF Brazilian jiu-jitsu tournament — my first time in the Gi; brown belt masters at 37 years old — and I go out and I win it… not one of those fighters, not even Jon Jones himself, would be able to do that,’ Johnson continued.
‘So, I think the ability for me to able to transition into different things is what’s put me above those guys.’ Johnson did, however, stop short of placing himself on the throne over Jones, a former two-time UFC light heavyweight champ and the promotion’s current heavyweight titleholder. Like ‘Bones,’ DJ also still boasts gold in his possession, having unseated Adriano Moraes for ONE’s 135-pound belt before defending it against the Brazilian in his return to United States-held action this past May.
The UFC great’s next career step remains uncertain, with ‘Mighty Mouse’ admitting that retirement is an option following his victory in Colorado earlier this year.