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Who did Jon Jones lose to in UFC? A closer look at the record of a potential GOAT

Jon Jones only lost one fight in his UFC career
Jon Jones only lost one fight in his UFC career
Gabriel Colman

There is no doubt Jon Jones is one of the first picks on everyone's UFC 'greatest of all time' lists. Fighting for the promotion since he was 21 years old, Jones has accumulated an impressive record of 20 wins out of his 22 bouts in the franchise. Besides a no-contest fight and only one loss, surrounded by controversy.

The no-contest fight against Daniel Cormier was originally won by Jones and later overturned as he tested positive for turinabol, an illegal substance. As a result, UFC president Dana White decided to strip his light heavyweight belt and give it to Cormier. Jones would regain the title more than a year later.

The fight that saw the former light heavyweight champion not having his arm raised for the first and only time took place in The Ultimate Fighter: Heavyweights Finale, which also saw MMA legend Kimbo Slice make his UFC debut.

As has often happened in Jones' career and life, this additional UFC upset was caused by his own hand. Or elbow in this case. Matt Hamill was the other man involved, but he had little contribution to his 'win'.

It was Jones' fourth fight in the UFC. But he wasn't knocked out, he didn't suffer a submission, nor did he lose via a decision from the judges. Jones' only loss was a disqualification after the GOAT contender used illegal elbow movements.

The referee of the fight was Steve Mazzagatti. Although Hamill was already basically defeated, Mazzagatti didn't stop the bout. Jones tried forcing him to do so by using his elbows. Even though the referee was warning Jones, he continued to use 12-6 elbow strikes, which ultimately caused him to be disqualified.

Since then, the fight has generated disagreements over Mazzagatti's decision. UFC president Dana White, a great admirer of Jones, has said repeatedly that he disagrees with the call and went as far as trying to get the result reversed at the Nevada State Athletic Commission.

"The guy's never lost a fight ever. That one loss on his record, we're trying to get that [overturned]," White said. "It was at a time and a place in the Nevada State Athletic Commission when it was at its worst. It was the weakest commission ever in the history of Nevada, and the referee that reffed that fight shouldn't have even been in there, and he disqualified Jon, which shouldn't have happened either. So, hopefully, we can get that done."

Another point on White's reasoning is that Mazzagatti should have stopped the fight earlier. Hamill looked helpless in the octagon with a dislocated shoulder plus the enraged 'crazy elbows' Bones on top of him.

"Why the fight was stopped had nothing to do with the elbow," White affirmed. "If he had been gashed open and the fight couldn't continue, or broke his nose and couldn't continue - anything to do with the face or anything to do with an illegal strike - then I'd get it. But it didn't. He couldn't continue because of his shoulder. That should have never had been the call."

Also Read: Chandler and Arthur Jones: Things to Know about Jon Jones' Brothers

Jon Jones' almost-perfect record is one of his arguments to be considered the UFC GOAT

It is no wonder Jon Jones considers himself to be the GOAT. Coming to the MMA world almost straight from high school, without much training and reproducing his now-infamous elbow strikes from YouTube videos, Jones is a real phenomenon.

Arguably the most dominant fighter in any division, Jones has in UFC president Dana White one of the strongest advocates for his claim to the GOAT title when it comes to that debate.

"Jon Jones is - you can't even argue it, you can't deny any more - he's the greatest ever," White said about the former light heavyweight champion. "He's the greatest of all time. If you look at his life outside the octagon and what he's been able to do inside the octagon, it's pretty amazing. Nobody has ever been better than Jon Jones. The guy's unstoppable."

However, not everybody agrees with Jones and White. For one of his most notable critics, Daniel Cormier, the reasons that White uses to defend Jones' greatness are the same that prove that he is unworthy of the title.

"One of the most talented guys you'll ever meet, but again, for me, bad [drug] tests eliminate you from the conversation," Cormier said. "I just cannot understand how that is so hard to comprehend in a sport where we're fighting each other. In baseball, bad tests eliminate you from being considered and being in the Hall of Fame, and you're hitting a ball. You're hitting an object that has no feeling. In fighting, you're punching people, human beings, and you have bad tests that eliminates you. It's just too dangerous."

Others think that Khabib Nurmagomedov was even more dominant on his unbeaten run in the UFC lightweight division. Conor McGregor is another with a claim to the GOAT throne, after fighting and winning categorically in three different divisions.

Jones' obsession to prove he is truly the greatest of this sport led him to make the decision to move up to the heavyweight division. He vacated his UFC light heavyweight belt in August and has since engaged in heavy, exhaustive training to reach the 240 pounds needed to be a contender in UFC's last division.

"I do feel like I'm the best fighter in this sport's history. But I just don't want there to be any debate. And one way I can do it is by capturing this heavyweight crown, and that's exactly what I'm going to do."

Edited by James McGlade

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