Georges St-Pierre Overlooks Jon Jones And Khabib As He Names UFC's GOAT
UFC legend Georges St-Pierre has named MMA's greatest of all time, above modern icons such as Jon Jones or Khabib Nurmagomedov.
GSP is a two-weight UFC world champion, who reigned for five years as welterweight champ and racked up a 28-2 record (avenging both defeats). So the Canadian is actually the choice of MMA's GOAT for many of fighters and fans.
But he's too modest to pick himself so instead went right back to the origins of UFC and named 1990s superstar Royce Gracie as the most "dominant" fighter of any era.
"What does being the best of all-time mean?" GSP asked in a revealing interview with UFC.com. "If it's to compare every athlete who competed at their time and who was the most dominant at their time, who had the most achievements, for me it's Royce Gracie."
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu icon Gracie, now 54, won three of the first four UFC events (back when it was a tournament-style competition). He also fought rival Ken Shamrock to a draw in UFC 5.
However GSP explained that different MMA greats bring different qualities to the mat. He names Fedor Emelianenko, the Russian heavyweight who famously never fought in UFC, as perhaps the strongest fighter ever.
"If you talk about who's the strongest guy, if you would put everybody in the cage, who would come out alive, I think it would maybe be Fedor Emelianenko in his prime," explains GSP.
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"If you talk about the more flamboyant guy, the one who did some crazy stuff that you only see in movies and stuff like that, I would say maybe a guy like Anderson Silva or Vitor Belfort. If you say the more well-rounded guy, I would say maybe Demetrious Johnson.
"If you ask about who's the guy who faced the most adversity, maybe Jon Jones. But whoever you name, it's a subjective thing, it's an opinion."
The 39-year-old St-Pierre did admit that sport, by its very nature, sees athletes and competitors improve on those that came before them. But he explains that Gracie will always have his ultimate respect for the no-holds-barred nature of those first UFC tournaments.
"The further we go into the future, the better the guys will be," said GSP. "There will always be new up-and-comers that are better that will beat the records of the previous ones.
"But I think we should never forget who was the first one to pave the way. There were no weight classes, they were fighting three times a night and there were headbutts and crazy things that you could do back then.
"That's why, for me, Royce Gracie is the number one for me. He's my favourite fighter, and the GOAT for me is Royce Gracie."
Featured image credit: PA Images
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