Conor McGregor Says He's No. 2 in MMA GOAT Rankings, 'If Not Tied No. 1'

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistMay 23, 2020

Conor McGregor poses during a ceremonial weigh-in for the UFC 246 mixed martial arts bout, Friday, Jan. 17, 2020, in Las Vegas. McGregor is scheduled to fight Donald
John Locher/Associated Press

Conor McGregor has shared his list of the greatest mixed martial arts fighters of all time, and he didn't put himself in sole possession of the top spot. 

In a Twitter thread, McGregor proclaimed Anderson Silva as the best MMA fighter ever—though the Notorious did suggest he could be tied for the No. 1 spotbased on criteria that includes array of finishes, success in multiple weight classes and winning a championship in at least one weight class:

Conor McGregor @TheNotoriousMMA

GOAT THREAD. The array of finishes, across 2 divisions, with champion status in 1, Anderson Silva is No.1 MMA GOAT. My array of finishes, across 3 divisions, with champion status in 2, I’m No.2. If not tied 1. However still active, No.1 is fully secured by career end. And easily.

Conor McGregor @TheNotoriousMMA

GSP is in at 3. Much less array of finishes but champion status in 2. He is far behind though. Reasons = Left 170 after much damage taken+questionable decision. Never re-engaged 170lb successors. Bottled Anderson fight. Only moved when one eyed fighter presented. Played safe.

Conor McGregor @TheNotoriousMMA

I didn’t mentions PED results on multiple entrants, even though that makes me the clear current No.1 MMA GOAT, along with still being active. Although it shames, as well as puts all runs+finishes in complete doubt, I’ve snored multiple juice heads. A true GOAT must do it all.

Jon Jones, who was listed fourth, replied upon seeing McGregor's rankings: 

ESPN MMA @espnmma

Bones fired back after being placed fourth on Conor McGregor's GOAT rankings 👀 (via @JonnyBones) https://t.co/7T7o63qusL

There are certainly ways to poke holes in McGregor's argument and criteria. For instance, his 2-1 record as a welterweight doesn't look as impressive since one win came in January against Donald Cerrone, who was once a top fighter in the division but has lost his last four fights. 

McGregor has won titles as a featherweight and lightweight, but he's never successfully defended a championship in UFC. 

Based on their head-to-head matchup at UFC 229, Khabib Nurmagomedov is a better lightweight than McGregor at this point. 

Just looking at the volume of finishes on McGregor's resume, his argument does hold water. The Irish superstar has won 19 of his 22 career fights by knockout or TKO. He ended Jose Aldo's nine-year undefeated streak in 2015 with a 13-second knockout at UFC 194 to win the featherweight title. 

As long as McGregor continues his career for the foreseeable future, he could build a resume that reasonably makes him the greatest mixed martial artist in history.