Jon Jones Says He's Still UFC's GOAT After Khabib's Win vs. Gaethje, Retirement

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistOctober 27, 2020

Jon Jones goes through his pre-fight routine in the ring before a light heavyweight mixed martial arts bout against Dominick Reyes at UFC 247 Saturday, Feb. 8, 2020, in Houston. (AP Photo/Michael Wyke)
Michael Wyke/Associated Press

Jon Jones argued he's the greatest fighter in UFC history after Khabib Nurmagomedov retired with a 29-0 record following his victory over Justin Gaethje on Saturday.

Jones (26-1, one no-contest), posted a video (via TMZ Sports) pointing toward his number of wins in title fights as a stark advantage over Khabib in the GOAT conversation.

"I'm talking to all you Khabib fans out there," Jones said. "... Fifteen world titles to your guy's four? And you guys are really talking about who's the best fighter ever? You guys are joking, right? Fifteen to four. Are you guys kidding me?"

The former light heavyweight champion—he vacated the title in August—argued Nurmagomedov bolstered his record against lesser opponents.

"And, all you guys who are going with this, 'He's more dominant' argument, [Khabib] just recently started fighting elite-level competition," Jones said. "Could you imagine me against the No. 10-ranked guy?"

Nurmagomedov already owned a 16-0 MMA record when he arrived to the UFC, and it was up to 25-0 before he received his first title fight in the sport's biggest promotion. He defeated Al Iaquinta to win the lightweight belt in April 2018 and defended it against Conor McGregor, Dustin Poirier and Gaethje.

Meanwhile, Jones' only loss came by disqualification for illegal elbows against Matt Hamill in 2009. His first title fight came in March 2011, a win over Mauricio Rua, and every fight he's taken since has been a championship bout.

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As far as the 33-year-old New York native is concerned, Khabib isn't even the top contender for the GOAT crown, per TMZ.

"The only person that could possibly come back and challenge my record and what I've done in the UFC is possibly Georges St-Pierre," Jones said. "He would have to come back and win two championship fights to tie me, and I'm not even retired yet! I'm 33 years old. I've got a whole 'nother chapter to go through."

Anderson Silva, Demetrious Johnson and Fedor Emelianenko are among the other fighters who at least deserve a place in the greatest-of-all-time discussion.

Although Nurmagomedov ended his career with a bang, whether he has enough major wins over high-end opponents to earn the GOAT label is very much up for debate.