After three years away from the octagon, Jon Jones made a triumphant comeback, winning the heavyweight title and cementing his status as the best mixed martial artist ever. Or did he?
‘Bones’ lengthy absence from the sport left fans wondering when he would return, but few anticipated what they saw at UFC 285 when he revealed he would face Ciryl Gane for the championship. The Hall of Famer submitted his opponent early in the first round in a one-sided overpowering display.
In a recent interview, Thiago Santos praised the former light heavyweight champion but stated that Fedor Emelianenko, the heavyweight sensation, is still first on his list of all-time greats.
“You know, it’s all about opinion. Thus he comes in second, in my opinion. Fedor Emelianenko continues to be the best fighter [of all time] in my opinion.”
It appears that a sizable portion of the MMA world shares Thiago Santos’ expectation that Jon Jones would not win the heavyweight title against Ciryl Gane on March 4 as easily as he did.
‘Marreta’ has sparred with the Albuquerque native before, and despite suffering injuries to his ACL, MCL, and PCL, the Brazilian gave the then-205-pound champion a tough fight but ultimately lost.
The 39-year-old has lost four of his previous five fights and dropped in the octagon rankings since the defeat, failing to regain the form that earned him a shot at the UFC championship. Watch the video to see what Santos had to say about Jon Jones being the GOAT.
UFC GOAT: Should Jon Jones be considered the greatest to ever compete in the cage?
MMA fans frequently debate which fighters should be regarded as the best of all time, with only a select few frequently making the cut.
While a case can be made for Khabib Nurmagomedov, Anderson Silva, Georges St-Pierre, and Demetrious Johnson, among a host of others, they will find it difficult to compete against someone with ‘Bones’ resume.
Being the youngest champion ever seen inside the octagon, winning titles in two different divisions, having the longest unbeaten streak and most title fight victories in UFC history, defeating Hall-of-Famers and numerous former champions, and having a record that includes those accomplishments will make it difficult to be surpassed in the future.