Demetrious Johnson has every right to proclaim himself the greatest of all-time.
But the reigning UFC flyweight champion just doesn’t have the resume to back it up. And that’s of no fault to “Mighty Mouse.”
This past weekend, Johnson tied Anderson Silva for the most consecutive UFC title defenses at 10 when he submitted Wilson Reis. He remains the only fighter to hold the championship for the UFC, but his list of victims just doesn’t compare to that of another.
Remember, Jones never actually lost the UFC light heavyweight title inside the Octagon. It was his issues outside of it that led to officials stripping him. But if we can remove all that from the equation, how could anyone honestly say Johnson, Silva or even Georges St-Pierre can match win-for-win with that of “Bones.”
Jones captured the title back in 2011 with a third round finish of Mauricio “Shogun” Rua. He was presented the shot after an injury sidelined then-teammate Rashad Evans, and as they say, the rest is history.
Later that year, Jones submitted former UFC champion’s Quinton “Rampage” Jackson and Lyoto Machida. A year later, he got the better of Evans via decision, before submitting Vitor Belfort – which gave him five consecutive wins over former UFC titleholders.
Jones went on to paste Chael Sonnen and withstood his biggest challenge to date by defeating Alexander Gustafsson in 2013. He returned in 2014 to defeat Glover Teixeira before scoring a decision win over Daniel Cormier.
Shogun, Rampage, Machida, Evans, Belfort. If that’s not a murderer’s row of opponents, I don’t know what is. And remember, Sonnen – on TRT or whatever he was on – pushed “The Spider” to within mere minutes of losing his title.
Cormier has looked invincible since winning the title vs. Anthony Johnson in Jones’ absence, which makes that win look all the more impressive.
Now, as I said, it is of no fault to Johnson that he isn’t regarded in the same manner by some as Jones, Silva or GSP. It’s just that the top contenders in the flyweight division are not as critically acclaimed or as well known.
He’s had little trouble with Henry Cejudo, John Dodson, Kyoji Horiguchi or Joseph Benavidez, but those names do not get the same reaction as the list presented by Jones. Even for all his work, Silva’s top challengers were Belfort, Dan Henderson, Rich Franklin and Sonnen.
So while you might not agree with what Jones has done outside of the Octagon, what he has accomplished inside of it cannot be argued. He is the greatest of all-time.
On the next episode of the “MMA News Podcast,” Tim Thompson will be discussing Jones, Johnson and the greatest fighter in MMA history. Feel free to hit up Thompson (@MMANEWS_TIM) or myself (@DanaBecker) on Twitter and your thoughts might get shared on the podcast. Use the hashtag #MMANewsGOAT to include your comments.