GEORGES ST-PIERRE has named the fighters he’d include in his MMA Mount Rushmore – but there’s no room for future UFC hall-of-famers Khabib Nurmagomedov and Jon Jones.
The greatest-of-all-time conversation is a never-ending one in the mixed martial arts world, with fans toing and froing from fighters like a leaf blowing in the wind.
Khabib Nurmagomedov was left out of Georges St-Pierre’s GOAT list[/caption]
Jon Jones was also omitted from GSP’s Mount Rushmore list[/caption]
Recency bias plays a large role in that, with fans quick to forget about the achievements of fighters of yesteryear.
Lifelong martial artist St-Pierre is not guilty of that, so much so he’s entrenched in his belief the man who had his arm raised after the culmination of the first UFC tournament all the way back in November 1993 is the GOAT.
That man is none other than MMA and Brazilian jiu-jitsu royalty Royce Gracie.
In an interview with UFC.com, St-Pierre said: “What does being the best of all time mean?
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“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.”
St-Pierre’s Mount Rushmore also includes a heavyweight most long-time UFC fans wanted to see compete in the promotion in his prime, PRIDE legend Fedor Emelianenko.
The 39-year-old Canadian added: “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.”
St-Pierre, like many, also believes former long-reigning UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva is deserving of GOAT status.
GSP, who is considered by many to be the greatest to ever do it, also holds former flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson in the same regard.
He continued: “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.”
St-Pierre’s omissions of Nurmagomedov and Jones are debatable, but they’re not crazy.
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As impressive as Nurmagomedov’s 29-0 record is, there is a fierce debate over the level of competition he fought early in his career.
And in the case of Jones, there’s currently an asterisk next to his name due to his two anti-doping violations – although he’s twice been exonerated of any wrongdoing by the United States Anti-Doping Agency.
While it’s unclear why St-Pierre doesn’t hold Nurmagomedov and Jones in higher regard, it’s easy to know why he admires Gracie so much when hearing him recall watching the Brazilian’s fights.
He said: “There were no weight classes, they were fighting three times a night and there were head-butts and crazy things you could do back then.”