The topic of who is mixed martial arts’ GOAT (greatest of all time) is a popular one within the community.
The top contenders for the title are Fedor Emelianenko, Jon Jones, Anderson Silva, Conor McGregor, Demetrious Johnson, and Artem Lobov (obviously).
Oh, and a French-Canadian dude named Georges St-Pierre…
When GSP announced that he was returning to MMA for UFC 217 after a four-year hiatus, he stated that doing so was about much more than just the pay cheque; he wanted to secure his legacy as one of the all-time greats.
Now his head coach thinks he has not only accomplished that but gone one giant step further, becoming the GOAT.
Speaking on Fight Hub TV recently, Tristar Gym coach Firas Zahabi said that there was ‘no doubt’ St-Pierre had secured his legacy as to the pound-for-pound greatest fighter of all time.
Zahabi explained why he believed GSP’s claim of GOAT-status is better than all the other would-be contenders.
“He’s No. 1, no doubt about it,” said Zahabi. “Who else could there be? Give me a name.
“Conor [McGregor] hasn’t defended a title. [Fedor] had too many losses. [Anderson] had too many losses and you know what happened; the testing didn’t go well. [Jon]; testing. There’s nobody else! There’s nobody else. I’m not just saying that because I train him. Put me aside, the guy is the greatest martial artist of all-time. That’s it. He did it. Let’s give him his due props. He worked for it, he deserves it. If another name comes along that does more than what he did, I’ll be happy to say that there’s a new best of all time.
“Before the testing and all the losses happened, I would say he was one of the best of all time. Now I’m telling you he is the best of all time. That’s just the way it is. After the tests came back the way they did the losses happened the way they did, the hands were dealt the way they were, now the best of all time, today, is GSP. No doubt about it.”
Of course, Zahabi left one huge contender off his list of pretenders; I’m not talking about Lobov, but rather Demetrious ‘Mighty Mouse’ Johnson.
Johnson boasts a professional record of 27-2-1, is the only champion that the UFC flyweight division has ever known, and has set the record for most UFC title defences with 11 in a row.
In fact, both UFC president Dana White and MMA guru Joe Rogan have recently claimed that Mighty Mouse is, in fact, the pound-for-pound mightiest of them all.
But Zahabi reckons that it’s the strength of the respective fighter’s opponents that gives St-Pierre the edge over Johnson.
“Demetrious Johnson is number two in my opinion,” said Zahabi. “Absolutely. The only reason I wouldn’t give it to Demetrious – and I think the world of Demetrious, I can’t say enough good things about him – he didn’t have the hornet’s nest, the challengers that Georges had. He just didn’t have those legendary guys that went on a win streak, that were unstoppable, and then were stopped by the champ. He didn’t have that. And it’s not his fault. It’s not his fault at all. He took down everybody they put in front of him and he did it in style; however, he never had that guy.
“The division is not that deep. There’s not that many people, per capita, that weigh 125 pounds, that can make that weight class. There’s not that many people in the population. How many of those guys were studs that haven’t lost in 10 years like a Jake Shields, Matt Hughes, so many guys, legends that Georges beat? Also, he didn’t win the championship in a weight class above.”
Unlike GSP, Johnson is still looking to fight regularly and Zahabi thinks that when he finally hangs up the gloves, the pocket rocket may have taken the mantle from St-Pierre.
“Demetrious could still do it,” said Zahabi. “He’s got time. It could happen it just hasn’t happened for him yet.”
There is no doubt GSP is currently the best welterweight in history (despite what Tyron Woodley might tell you); he boasts a 25-2 record in that division and managed to avenge both of his career losses (against Matt Hughes and Matt Serra – he should probably just stop fighting guys named ‘Matt’).
From 2007 until his leave of absence in 2013, GSP was undefeated as the welterweight champion, defending his title nine times against the best in the division.
The French-Canadian is also tied for the record of most wins in UFC history (20) and is one of only four men to win belts in two separate weight classes.
That’s a pretty chunky resume.
What do you guys think? Is GSP the greatest of all time or is there somebody else that you would bestow that title upon? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!