5 Best MMA Fighters Ever
Fans spending countless hours tirelessly debating about the GOAT is commonplace in every competitive sport. However, the answer to the unavoidable question is often subjective and differs depending on who you ask. The fanboys will irritably back their idols while the unbiased purists will give you a pick based on analytical breakdowns of different aspects of the sport.
Just like in Football, which is dominated by the unending back-and-forth between Messi and Ronaldo fanatics on the internet; MMA has its own legends that preponderate conversations regarding the best. MMA may be the fastest growing sport in the world but it is still young with only 30 years of documented history. Despite its relatively scanty narrative, many individuals took to the barbarous sport and redefined the paradigm of combat sports as we know it. These athletic freaks of nature not only revolutionized MMA but also helped popularize it amongst a larger audience.
Here, we take a look at those select few individuals that got into the cage with uncertainty and walked out with an established legacy. It should be noted that this is a pound for pound list with fighters from different weight classes assessed on the basis of overall skill, record, accomplishments and career longevity.
#5 Jon Jones (22-1-1)
So is Jon ‘Bones’ Jones a cheat or a junkie? He may be either one of those but beyond all complexities of his tainted persona, Bones is inarguably one of the most naturally gifted fighters in MMA history.
Bones has no glaring loopholes in his game. Crafty in his standup, vicious on the ground (black belt in Gaidojutsu) and most importantly, he fights to kill not just win. He may not be the marketable KO artist that the UFC matchmakers drool over, but his submissions and the sheer volume of strikes – a conglomeration of inventive elbows, knees, kicks, and punches – make him one of the most exciting fighters to watch. You never know what to expect with Bones’ unorthodox style but dominance is a guaranteed feature.
A student of the renowned Jackson/Wink Academy, Jones’ in-fight IQ and a superior execution of well-thought-out game plans sets him apart from his counterparts.
A prodigal talent with a penchant for giving in to his inner demons, Bones won the UFC Light Heavyweight Championship from Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua when he was 23 years old, making him the youngest undisputed championship in the weight class era.
The polarizing Light Heavyweight went on to add legendary names in his successful title defenses column which included the likes of Quinton Jackson, Lyoto Machida, Rashad Evans, Vitor Belfort, Chael Sonnen, and Daniel Cormier -- a resume stacked with future Hall of Famers.
He has never lost a UFC title fight, has the most wins and submissions in the Light Heavyweight history, and the longest win streak in the division. Jones has 22 wins, 1 loss (a loss considered to be a bad referee decision) and 1 no contest in his enviable record.
The god-gifted ability and lofty accomplishments, however, can’t overshadow the controversies that have plagued his career in recent years. A hit and run felony charge, failed drug tests, and unhealthy partying habits have depreciated Jones’ value in the eyes of his fans and in the MMA fraternity as a whole. The seemingly unconquerable Jones has been stripped off the title thrice and as things stand, has been given yet another opportunity to get his life and career back on track.
Time is on his side at 31 years of age but he’s already tested the patience of his fans enough to mess up again. All Jones has to do is stay out of trouble and improve on an already illustrious career.