Who is the UFC GOAT? | Easily Explained

There are only a handful of fighters who can be considered the greatest of all time.

In this page, we will explain the argument for each fighter, and the argument against them being considered the UFC GOAT.

Who is the UFC GOAT

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Who is the UFC GOAT?

There are only five names that can be considered in the conversation of who is the UFC GOAT. Each one of these fighters has a major flaw in their resume, which makes it very tricky for fight fans to argue the case for their favorite fighter.

Those fighters include:

  • Jon Jones
  • George St-Pierre
  • Anderson Silva
  • Khabib Nurmagomedov
  • Demetrious Johnson

Jon Jones

Argument For Being the GOAT

Jon Jones would become the youngest UFC champion in history, at only 23 years old.

Jones would completely dominate almost every one of his opponents for an entire decade, in a vicious fashion, while seemingly being levels above anyone that he fought.

The most impressive part of his wins was how he would beat his opponents. If his opponent was good at wrestling, Jones would make it a point to out-wrestle them.

If his opponent was good at striking, Jones would engage in striking battle.

One of the most vicious endings to a fight that would summarize how Jones fought during the prime of his career, is his fight vs Machida.

Jones would choke Lyoto Machida unconscious while they were both standing, and drop his body on the canvas when the referee intervened.

Throughout his career he would only officially lose once, by a controversial rule that doesn't allow elbows from a vertical angle.

Ironically, Jones would lose this fight despite absolutely dominating prior to the fight being called off.


Jones would essentially 'clear out' the division, beating top competition along the way.

Some of these fighters would become champions in the UFC (when Jones would get in trouble outside of the cage), and other organizations.

Some notable names include:

  • Daniel Cormier
  • Quinton Rampage Jackson
  • Lyoto Machida
  • Ryan Bader
  • Mauricio Shogun Rua
  • Alexander Gustaffson

Argument Against Being the GOAT

As successful as Jones has been inside of the octagon, he has been his own worst enemy outside of it.

Jones has failed multiple drug tests for steroids throughout his career.

At one point, he was suspended for four years, but would agree to a reduced sentence of 15 months with USADA, if he agreed to 'snitch' on other fighters.

One failed drug test could perhaps be attributed to a mistake, but multiple over the years is the biggest reason why many eliminate him from the GOAT conversation.

George St-Pierre

Argument For Being the GOAT

GSP was one of the most dominant fighters of all time, and two division champion in the UFC.

GSP would fight almost his entire career in the Welterweight division, dethroning some of the most legendary competition along the way.

GSP was an extremely well rounded fighter, using his crisp striking, well-timed wrestling, and underrated Jiu Jitsu.

Despite having no wrestling background, GSP would outwrestle much of his competition, most notably Division I All America Josh Koscheck.

Similarly to Jones, many of the fighters that he would defeat were champions including:

  • Matt Hughes
  • BJ Penn
  • Michael Bisping
  • Carlos Condit
  • BJ Penn
  • Matt Serra

GSP would retire with a 26-2 record. You may think, well he has two losses, how can he be considered the GOAT?

Well GSP would go on to avenge both losses convincingly, getting his revenge in one fight by submission, and the other one by TKO.

GSP has one of the strongest cases for being the GOAT from resume alone.

Additionally, he has never failed a drug test in his career, even on his return fight against Michael Bisping when he would be tested under USADA.

Argument Against Being the GOAT

Although he was able to avenge the two losses that he suffered, many fans point to this as a big argument against him being the GOAT.

Anderson Silva

Argument For Being the GOAT

Anderson Silva has had arguably the best prime in the history of Mixed Martial Arts.

Silva was absolutely untouchable in the cage holding the Middleweight belt for an unheard of, 2,457 days as champion.

During his prime, it seemed that nobody could touch him, as he would constantly taunt his opponents to throw a strike.

When the opponent threw a strike, Silva would use his lightning-fast reflexes to avoid or parry it, before perfectly counter striking them with his own move.

It always seemed like Silva was always levels ahead of his competition, until he faced Chael Sonnen.

Chael Sonnen would maul Silva for 4 and a half rounds using wrestling, and ground and pound.

Howevr, the Silva era would continue, as Silva would be able to miraculously secure a triangle choke on Sonnen, to retain his belt.

Some of the notable competition that Silva beat include:

  • Dan Henderson
  • Chael Sonnen
  • Rich Franklin
  • Forrest Griffin
  • Demian Maia
  • Vitor Belfort

Argument Against Being the GOAT

As dominant as Silva was during his prime, he would continue to fight well past his prime.

Silva would lose 6 out of his last 7 MMA fights, which in many eyes puts him out of contention for being the GOAT.

Additionally, Silva would fail multiple drug tests later in his career.

Khabib Nurmagomedov

Argument For Being the GOAT

Khabib Nurmagomedov would be one of the most dominant champions of all time.

Khabib would retire with an undefeated record of 29-0 after the passing of his father.

He would uses his patented combination of wrestling, sambo, grappling and ground and pound to overwhelm his opponents.

Khabib was so dominant that he would only lose two rounds in his entire career. Think about that for a second.

In a sport where one punch is all it takes to change an entire fight, it's extremely impressive.

Some of the notable fighters that Khabib would beat include:

  • Conor McGregor
  • Dustin Poirier
  • Justin Gaethje
  • Rafael Dos Anjos

Argument Against Being the GOAT

As dominant as Khabib was, he would retire in the prime of his career with only 3 title defenses.

In a list that includes champions who defended their belts for years such as Jones and GSP, it's hard to look past this.

Demetrious Johnson

Argument For Being the GOAT

'Mighty Mouse' Johnson is one of the greatest, yet underappreciated fighters of all time.

He would be the first UFC Flyweight champion in history, and then completely dominate his competition from that point on.

Johnson is one of the most well rounded fighters that the sport has ever seen as he could use seemingly any weapon in his arsenal.

One fight he would defeat Olympic Gold Medalist and future double champion Henry Cejudo through the use of brutal Muay Thai knees to the body.

Then in another fight vs Ray Borg, he would suplex his opponent, and while his opponent was in the air he would lock in an arm bar.

Something that fans had never seen up to that point, and something that they most likely won't see for a very long time after.

Johnson would clear out the division completely, and then eventually be traded to ONE FC, where he would become a champion there as well.

Argument Against Being the GOAT

As dominant as Johnson was, many fans point to the brand new Flyweight division having a lack of elite opponents.

It almost seemed like every Johnson fight that was announced didn't pique the interest of fight fans, since they figured that he would have no problem beating them anyways.

During his UFC run, besides Henry Cejudo, his opposition list doesn't include future or former champions at major MMA organizations.

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