Conor McGregor posted his greatest of all time fighter list in a series of interesting tweets on Twitter. His aptly titled “GOAT THREAD” listed Anderson Silva as the number 1 MMA GOAT. He sighted that his array of finishes across multiple divisions as well as his champion status. Many MMA fans have Anderson Silva as the number 1 MMA pound for pound fighter of all time including Dana White. Finishes in multiple divisions as well as several title defenses make Anderson a difficult mountain to summit in the pound for pound conversation.
However, it was his second choice that perhaps made his tweets both newsworthy as well as controversial. Conor placed himself as the second on the greatest of all time list. As stated in his first tweet he wrote, “My Array of finishes, across 3 divisions, with champion status in 2, I’m No.2 If not tied 1.” Though Conor is an incredible athlete, it is extremely difficult to place him above a fighter like George Saint Pierre, (who McGregor placed at number 3) or Jon Jones (who was placed number 4). The main reason being, Conor has yet to have Bruce buffer raise his hand and yell “And Still..” Many have stated that though it is extremely difficult to win the belt, it is even harder to keep it. Heavy wears the crown in all areas of life, but most notably within the fight game. Being the champ, maintaining a public profile, all while fending off world class competition significantly augments the difficulty of the achievement. A long string of title defenses is perhaps the most important consideration when placing a fighter on the GOAT list. George Saint Pierre and Jon Jones also have lengthy win streaks against great competition. Defending the belt multiple times, and long win streaks should be weighed heavily in my opinion, and arguably Saint Pierre and Jones both did it against a higher quality array of fighters than Silva.
Lastly, he brought up an important point in regards to performance enhancing drugs results on multiple entrants. This would be referring to USADA flagging both Jon Jones as well as Anderson Silva. It is difficult to determine how to weigh PED usage especially during Silva’s reign, when it was especially rampant. George Saint Pierre never had a PED scandal, in an era where much of his competition was later were popped by USADA. Daniel Cormier is another athlete who has won the belt in multiple weight classes. Cormier is also the only fighter currently to defend the belt in 2 weight classes. DC defended the two belts without a flag from USADA no les. So perhaps Daniel Cormier should be ranked higher than Conor based on his own criteria.
Conor is still young at 31 and most likely remain in his fighting prime for a couple more years, so there is ample time to add to his already legendary resume. Hopefully as MMA fans we will have several more classic bouts the GOAT list even more competitive and debatable.