It seems that every conversation lately devolves to this GOAT stuff.
So maybe it's best to have a thread on the topic so we can gather all our GOAT thoughts here. Who do you think is the GOAT and why?
The youngest UFC Champion ever, he's realistically unbeaten (the only loss on his record being a DQ in a fight he was dominating). His record speaks for itself. 15 wins in title fights and has beaten the absolute who's who. Former champs in Rua, Machida, Rampage, Rashad, Vitor, two-weight champs in Sonnen & DC.
He cleared out two different generations of the 205 division as well. Won the belt in 2011 and held the same belt in 2020.
Cons: Loads of failed drug tests and generally being a bad human being.
What a career. The days watching him come up through the ranks to challenge but fall short against the great Matt Hughes were amazing. He got himself back there and completely overtook Hughes to become the greatest WW in the history of the sport. Not as many wins over Champs like Jones (Hughes & Penn the only former WW champs he beat), but only because he was so dominant in his time, having taken over form a dominant champ in Hughes.
Jon Fitch, Jake Shields, Carlos Condit, Thiago Alves all could have been champ had GSP not held the belt. Hendricks went on to win the belt after their epic.
He then came out of retirement to win the UFC MW belt, 11 years after winning his first UFC title.
Cons: A glaring one in his KO loss to Matt Serra. After this loss he stopped taking risks and won almost every subsequent fight via decision. Also, his Hendricks win was seen in many eyes to have been a robbery.
Smashed Leben so badly in his debut that they gave him an immediate crack at the title. He then smashed Rich Franklin's nose so badly that every MW in the world simultaneously sh*t their jocks.
He then reigned as Champion for what felt like 17 years. And not only that, he was finishing almost everyone who stood in front of him. Hendo, Marquart, Lutter, Sonnen, Vitor....... his finish of Griffin at 205 was incredible.
Cons: Never recovered form his KO against Weidman. very ropey tail-end to his career. Also, failed a drug test after his Championship reign.
Fedor: The legend himself. Despite not being the biggest HW, being kinda pudgey and looking like the weird mate of your even weirder uncle, he spent most of the 00's beating everyone who was put in front of him. Pride had most of the best HWs in the world at the time, and Fedor was the daddy of them all.
Big Nog, Arona, Coleman, Randleman, Cro Cop, Mark Hunt....... all on mandatory steroids, all smashed by the great Fedor.
Cons: He never tested himself in the UFC. Also, it was Pride so who knows?
Khabib: Unbeaten in his career, and with very few close shaves, Khabib has to be in the conversation. He retired without a loss and finished (?) his career with emphatic wins over the very best in the world. In fact, his last three victories were probably his best.
Cons: Some would say his body of work doesn't stand up to the others on the list.
(Honourable mentions: DC, Aldo, Randy, Mighty Mouse, Nunes, Junie Browning)