In the never ending debate as to who is MMA’s Greatest Of All Time (GOAT), opinions have varied as of late, due to the latest in the Jon Jones’ saga and the upcoming title defense for UFC Flyweight Champion, Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson.
During this week’s ‘Holy Smokes’ podcast (seen above), the live chat fueled a discussion between yours truly and co-host Sean Ross Sapp. The topic morphed into whether ‘Bones’ is still and will be considered the sport’s GOAT.
No one can deny his technical prowess and the gift he has of executing near matrix like techniques, but akin to Anderson Silva, who many still believe is the GOAT, there is an asterisks next to his name. That one blemish is the alleged use of performance enhancing drugs.
For most, the accusations thereof technically eliminate ‘The Spider’ and ‘Bones’ from the argument. For others, there is a steadfast position that one of these two are the greatest to ever compete in the sport; whether there is a PED discussion or not.
Others throw in names like Georges St-Pierre (valid) and Fedor Emelianenko (no longer valid based on the latter part of his career, damaging his record with losses as well as legacy).
But I am now in a position that challenging GSP to this GOAT debate has to be Demetrious ‘Mighty Mouse’ Johnson. He is on the verge of setting a new UFC record for the most successful title defences, eclipsing Anderson Silva’s (and his own) of 11.
I’ve long maintained that DJ is the perfect mixed martial artist. And when I say ‘perfect’, I mean the way he is able to be technically flawless in his execution of punches, combinations, transitions, timing, scrambles, submission attempts, etc, etc. I could go on and on, singing his praises, but I’m sure you get my point.
Take a look at what he’s done to some of the top ranked athletes in the division, many of which could easily be champions at flyweight. His bout vs. Henry Cejudo was jaw dropping. His victories over Joseph Benavidez were stunning. And that submission of Kyoji Horiguchi at UFC 186, with one second left in the fight is a testament of his will to win and finish each and every opponent.
On Saturday night, he is a massive favourite vs. Ray Borg, and rightfully so. There is no debate that this is MMA, and anything can happen, but all sentiments are not whether the challenger can pull off the upset, but when the champion will finish the fight, or at worst, earn himself a unanimous judges decision.
As it stands now, ‘Mighty Mouse’ has no blemishes on his life outside of the octagon. He has never been part of any PED discussions. He is widely considered the cleanest champion who has ever competed in the sport. This is a guy who is a near perfect role model for young fighters and fight fans alike. There is never really any drama with DJ, other than him having his own issues with the UFC, when it comes to finances and negotiations.
I’ve had personal off-camera interactions with him and can attest to his character. The guy is all class and deserves way more zero’s on his pay cheques than he’s getting right now. This guy, along with GSP, are the only two fighters in my books who deserve to be in the G.O.A.T. debate.
Many will disagree, but in time, I am confident that it will be on of these two that will be voted upon by the majority of fans and pundits as the two greatest to ever have their hands taped in MMA. And as DJ continues to obliterate records, it could be him that takes the lead over GSP on Saturday night.