Jon Jones was considered by many as mixed martial arts’ GOAT, or greatest of all time, because of his accomplishments and overall skillset. But after Georges St-Pierre defeated Michael Bisping at UFC 217 to become the new middleweight champion of the world, former UFC title contender Chael Sonnen said that GSP has surpassed Jones as the GOAT.
At UFC 217 last Sunday, GSP became the fourth fighter in UFC history to win a championship in two weight divisions, per MMA Junkie. St-Pierre joined Randy Couture, BJ Penn, and Conor McGregor in that elite company, but he also cemented his legacy as quite possibly the greatest MMA fighter of all time.
There were many questions about St-Pierre heading into the fight against Bisping since he was inactive for four years. Not only was GSP facing ring rust, he moved up a weight class where fighters are stronger and harder hitters. But St-Pierre proved his critics wrong by putting Bisping to sleep in the third round.
GSP set up the submission victory with a counter left hook that brought Bisping down. St-Pierre used his ground game to take control of the Englishman and applied the rear-naked choke four minutes into the third round for the victory. The 36-year-old legend was very impressive and he overcame an obvious cardio issue after a four-year layoff.
After the fight, Chael Sonnen explained on SportsCenter (h/t IB Times) why he believes Georges St-Pierre surpassed Jon Jones as the greatest of all time. Sonnen pointed out that GSP has proven that he is a clean fighter while Jones already got popped for performance-enhancing drugs twice.
“What everyone learned is the gap between Georges St-Pierre as a mixed martial artist and the rest of the world is too big for anybody else to close. That is the greatest fighter we’ve ever seen. We knew that four years ago but people have short-term memories. They were reminded of that tonight. There’s only a debate between two guys. Is it Jon Jones or is it GSP? One of them broke all of the rules and one of them won two divisions in two different weight classes. That closes the book.”
Jones tested positive for steroids after his fight with Daniel Cormier, his second one in two years and third overall violation in three years since he tested positive for cocaine in 2015. He is facing a four-year suspension, and it will be hard to convince the USADA to lessen his punishment. Jones is only 30-years-old, and he can move to heavyweight if he gets suspended for four years.
Other MMA fighters in the GOAT conversation besides Georges St-Pierre and Jon Jones include Anderson Silva, Fedor Emelianenko, and Demetrious Johnson. Jones had all the talent in the world but his failed drug tests tarnish his legacy. As for GSP, he no longer needs to prove his greatness because he showed it last Sunday.
[Featured Image by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images]