Does Jon Jones have a case for GOAT status considering his out of the cage transgressions and test failures?
Sean Covington, Columnist – Covington’s Corner
I’ll just keep it at his case and not my personal feelings on whether the is the GOAT or not. Jon Jones certainly has a case and a good one at that. Number of title defenses, difficulty of opponents and being undefeated is the best case anyone could have at being the GOAT. Jones also had some great finishes to his fights as well. Cormier is also a good consideration but Jones beat him twice. So yeah, Jon Jones may very well be the GOAT based on the incredible case he has…however, this is a devil’s advocate opinion from me.
Frank Hyden, Columnist – The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
It depends on if you consider Barry Bonds the Home Run King. If you do, then yes, Jones is the GOAT. Do you consider Tom Brady the GOAT of NFL quarterbacks? They didn’t really have off-field problems (that I know of) but allegations of manipulating the rules is definitely there. I think we need to see more from Jones before deciding one way or the other. If he fights the next 5-7 years clean as a whistle and does well, that bolsters his case. If he stumbles with his win-loss record or has more test failures or out of cage problems, that hurts his case. As of right now, I don’t think you can call Jones the GOAT. You can say he’s one of the best but it’s not definitive. We need more time to see if Jones is going to clean up his act or fall by the wayside.
Michael Hiscoe, MMATorch Managing Editor
I think Jon Jones’ test failures disqualify him from Greatest of All Time status, for now at least. There are enough excellent fighters who have not tested clean, and have careers that can stack up against Jones’ that should take precedence. For example, Georges St-Pierre had a long reign as welterweight champ, and defeated the best of the best at that time. An argument against St-Pierre is that he fought in an era when the drug testing was less stringent than it is now. Anderson Silva had a long title reign over a nearly identical time frame to St-Pierre, but he failed drug tests before and after USADA, so he’s out of the conversation. Demetrious Johnson had a nearly six year reign of his own, and didn’t fail a drug test. The only knock against Johnson as GOAT is you could argue the quality of his competition wasn’t as strong as others. All that said, Jon Jones can become part of this conversation if he can have a similar run to the one he had from 2011-15, but without the failures and other nonsense. But for now, and for my money, GSP and Mighty Mouse are my GOATs.