Georges St-Pierre Names His MMA GOAT
The GOAT debate in mixed martial arts is a never ending one as everyone has a different view of what truly makes a fighter the greatest there’s ever been.
Demetrious Johnson believes Jon Jones is the GOAT, and Israel Adesanya is on his way to becoming one if he continues his winning ways, ‘Bones’ believes he is the greatest fighter ever, Joe Rogan has his own point of view, and Dan Hardy believes it’s Georges St-Pierre. Even Darren Till believes he was born to be the GOAT.
In the past, St-Pierre has expressed the opinion that there is no such thing as the MMA GOAT. However, the 39 year old has now named the fighter he thinks sits at the top of the pile. As well as all those that could also be considered.
The GOAT Debate
In an interview with UFC.com, St-Pierre, who is widely considered by many as the greatest MMA fighter of all time, weighed in on the debate once again.
“What does being the best of all time mean?” St-Pierre said. “If it’s to compare every athlete who competed at their time and who was the most dominant at their time, who had the most achievements, for me it’s Royce Gracie. If you talk about who’s the strongest guy, if you would put everybody in the cage, who would come out alive, I think it would maybe be Fedor Emelianenko in his prime.
“If you talk about the more flamboyant guy, the one who did some crazy stuff that you only see in movies and stuff like that, I would say maybe a guy like Anderson Silva or Vitor Belfort. If you say the more well-rounded guy, I would say maybe Demetrious Johnson. If you ask about who’s the guy who faced the most adversity, maybe Jon Jones. But whoever you name, it’s a subjective thing, it’s an opinion.”
The Ever Evolving Sport
From its very beginning till now, GSP points out that the sport of MMA has come a long way, so it’s very difficult to pick the best out of so many incredible fighters from the past and present. In fact, the former two division UFC champion noted that the GOAT may not have even been born yet.
“There’s a lot of guys for different reasons who could be considered a GOAT, and there are pros and cons, but I truly believe it does not exist, because if you talk about who’s the best, I think the best has not even been born yet,” St-Pierre shared. “Royce Gracie, as magnificent as he was, he was the number one guy and he achieved things that still today have not been achieved – if you would put him in the cage against the competition today and ask how he would do, he would not do well because the sport has changed. The technology has become better.”
Back in the day, St-Pierre said that he had to travel all the way to New York to be able to learn jiu jitsu, but the game has completely changed, as today, fighters have access to technologies that have sped up the learning process. And since there’s no instrument to measure fighting, it’s hard to tell which fighter is better than the rest.
“I remember when I wanted to learn jiu-jitsu, I needed to drive to New York and be in the class to learn an armbar or a choke,” St-Pierre said. “Now you can learn it in two minutes watching on the internet by a guy who lives in a different country from you. So the technology makes the performance better. The best example of that is, look at sports where you can measure things. For example, sprinting. Usain Bolt is the fastest man that ever lived that we know of because we have the evidence to prove it. It’s the same thing in all the Olympic sports you can measure. However, you cannot measure fighting because it’s one guy against another guy, and there’s no instrument of measure that you can have to compare.”
GSP’s GOAT Criteria
But if there’s one way to look at the GOAT debate for St-Pierre, it’s seeing who paved the way for the others, and for him, it’s Royce Gracie.
“The further we go into the future, the better the guys will be,” St-Pierre said “There will always be new up-and-comers that are better that will beat the records of the previous ones. But I think we should never forget who was the first one to pave the way. There were no weight classes, they were fighting three times a night and there were headbutts and crazy things that you could do back then. That’s why, for me, Royce Gracie is the number one for me. He’s my favourite fighter, and the GOAT for me is Royce Gracie.”
Georges St-Pierre, Jon Jones, Demetrious Johnson, Royce Gracie, or someone else, who do you think is the GOAT?