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Jones did not have top quality opponents, not the GOAT, says Josh Thompson

LockerRoom Team
07 March 2023

Josh Thomson believes that Jon Jones is prevented from being crowned the greatest fighter in MMA history by the talent present in his weight divisions.

Jones already had the reputation of being regarded as the GOAT by many fans and colleagues, but the 35-year-old strengthened his position by winning a second UFC title in the UFC 285 main event. Given that Jones was making his heavyweight debut after a three-year hiatus, the victory was all the more impressive since Ciryl Gane suffered only his second career defeat in just over two minutes.

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Thomson argues that while determining which fighter stands out as the sport's GOAT, the degree of talent in a weight class needs to be taken into account. Thomson competed in what is undoubtedly the sport's deepest division during his own career.

“Yes, I can say he’s the GOAT. But I look at guys in the 170 pound, 155, 145, 135. And [Demetrious Johnson]’s one of like, there wasn’t the talent level. He falls kind of under the same as Anderson Silva, 205, you know, and even moving up to heavyweight. There’s a lack of options and top quality fighters. Now, everyone was saying ‘Well Jon Jones fought Shogun Rua, he fought..’ Yeah, he fought good guys, but they were also kind of towards – I don’t wanna say they were towards the end, but they definitely weren’t in their prime. ‘Shogun’ had a lot miles on him before he even got to the UFC,” Josh Thompson said (h/t MMA News)

After defeating Rua in 2011, Jones won the UFC's light heavyweight championship. He then faced former champions in his first four title defences.

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His career has been gravely endangered by problems outside the ring on a number of occasions, but after his most recent light heavyweight title defences were very underwhelming, it seems "Bones" may have found some new life at heavyweight.


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