The GOAT (Greatest Of All Time) debate is one that will never truly be settled in the world of MMA. From Anderson Silva to GSP, fans have argued over who is the best to ever step foot in the Octagon for years. However, the two men that have drawn the most attention in this subject in recent years are Jon Jones and Khabib Nurmagomedov.
One of my friends text me this, I just figured I would throw it up on my Twitter. Nothing else to say pic.twitter.com/teWVEL9k0Z
— BONY (@JonnyBones) August 24, 2022
Up until now, ‘Bones’ has been a part of all the GOAT debates so far. However, since the former light heavyweight champ took a 3-year hiatus from 2020 to 2023, the focus automatically went to the next best superstar at the time. Former lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov put forward his resume to be included in the ongoing conversation.
Comparing Jon Jones’ resume with Khabib Nurmagomedov
For a few years, fans of the sport have argued over which of the two men has earned the GOAT status. The Albuquerque resident captured his first UFC gold at the age of 23, a record yet to be broken. Aside from this, Jon’s resume includes Hall of Famers and legends from arguably UFC’s toughest division. Mauricio Rua, Lyoto Machida, Rampage Jackson, Rashad Evans, Alexander Gustafsson, Daniel Cormier, and Glover Teixeira, just to name a few.
Despite having a fair share of controversies outside the cage, Jon also has one such “loss” in his competitive career. He’d lost a bout against Matt Hamill via DQ, staining his perfect record to now 27-1. The 35-year-old also holds several records in UFC’s LHW division, including the most amount of title defenses, most victories, and the longest winning streak.
I’ve won 15 world titles, he just won his 4th. The fact that this is even a conversation is mine blowing to me. https://t.co/DiJQ4X5vjl
— BONY (@JonnyBones) October 25, 2020
In contrast, ‘The Eagle‘ won the lightweight gold against the #11 ranked contender, Al Iaquinta. A belt that he defended only a meager 3 times, against Conor McGregor, Dustin Poirier, and Justin Gaethje. The Russian’s anti-climactic retirement drew a plethora of criticism from the MMA world, leaving most with several “what ifs”.
It is criminal to even compare Jones’ otherworldly Octagon work with that of Khabib. Some fans go as far as mentioning that Khabib never bled in his fights. However, it is the resume of an athlete that decides where they stand and Jon’s makes him stay right on top of the mountain for years to come.
‘Bones’ became the heavyweight champion at the age of 35
In early March 2023, fans were on pins and needles as Jon made his highly anticipated comeback to the Octagon. The former light heavyweight champion was on a 3-year hiatus before his return to UFC 285. The bout also marked Jon’s heavyweight debut, as he bulked up to a good 248 pounds on the scales.
In the 3 years long absence, Jones dedicated his time to moving up in weight and appearing in the right body frame before signing up for a heavyweight contest. Despite fans mocking Jon’s body transformation, he simply didn’t seem to let any of that affect him during his preparation.
The former LHW champion started off unusually slow, followed by taking Ciryl Gane down with ease, reminding everyone of his wrestling prowess. All in all, it merely took Jon two minutes of the very first round to secure a guillotine choke around the Frenchman. Way to make a comeback and win the heavyweight title with style points.