Dana White Backs Jon Jones As ‘Undeniable’ MMA GOAT

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MMA fans are left divided on who the greatest MMA fighter of all time is, but not Dana White.

The UFC CEO has seen talent come and go in the Octagon, with few fighters leaving a legacy worthy of ‘GOAT’ status. Former champions Demetrious Johnson, Georges St-Pierre and Anderson Silva all fit that bill with a high number of consecutive title defenses along with many accolades throughout their legendary careers. 

MMA’s ‘Mount Rushmore’ wouldn’t be complete without two-division UFC Champion Jon Jones, who White believes is in a league of his own as the ‘greatest of all time’. 

White: ‘There’s No Debate’, Jon Jones Is The GOAT

Why does White look to ‘Bones’ as being the best ever? The longtime UFC boss sheds light on Jones’ resume below. 

“He’s never been beat,” White told Lex Fridman. “He destroyed everybody at light heavyweight, which at the time was the toughest weight class in the company, in the sport. Then he moved up to heavyweight, won easily at heavyweight.

“When you look at a guy and you look at what he was doing outside the Octagon at the same time, which shouldn’t be part of it, shouldn’t be part of the the equation, But when you do, wow. Jon Jones, there’s no debate. Nobody can debate who’s the greatest of all time. It’s absolutely positively Jon Jones. He’s never lost. He’s never been beaten in the Octagon ever.

Turning 37 this year, Jones has amassed a super-impressive record of 27-1. Jones’ one and only setback came in 2009, where he was disqualified for hitting Matt Hamill with illegal 12-6 elbows. Other than that, we’ve never seen the American take the L. 


‘Bones’ became the youngest champion in UFC history at 23 years old and held on to light heavyweight gold for many years, defeating many legends along the way. Jones relinquished the undisputed title in 2020 and went on to become the heavyweight champion just this last year with a quick submission victory over Ciryl Gane at UFC 285.

All of that time passed and Jon Jones is still here, at least for what should be one more fight against divisional ‘GOAT’ Stipe Miocic.

“The other thing is that you have to put it factor into is longevity,” White brought up regarding Jones. “How long he’s because sometimes with a lot of these guys, the sport passes them by. You get younger guys that are faster, this, that, and the sport evolves. Nobody’s been able to beat Jon Jones. The other thing that you measure is when you said dominance, it’s true. If you’re this guy that has unbelievable power and you’re just going in, you’re just f***** knocking everybody out, and nobody’s ever pulled you into the deep water before. That was when my opinion of Jon Jones started to change.

“[Alexander] Gustafsson took him into the deep water. Gustafsson hit him with some s*** he’d never been hit with. Gustafsson tested him and put Jon Jones in a place where I bet if you sat down and interviewed Jon Jones, going into the deep rounds of that, Jon Jones thought he was gonna die. And he kept going. He was willing to do whatever it took to win that fight.

‘It’s Undeniable’

And that he did, Jon Jones didn’t let anybody take his title. Not even the highly-touted Daniel Cormier on two tries, who like his rival, also had a memorable career by becoming the light heavyweight and heavyweight champion of the world. 

“I believe that DC doesn’t get the credit he deserves because of the Jon Jones thing. When you look at DC and what he’s accomplished, right? And Jon Jones beat him twice. It’s undeniable. You can hate all you want. Jon Jones is the greatest of all time.”

The Asterisks

Jon Jones’ case for ‘the greatest of all time’ isn’t so cut and dry, however. On paper, sure, it’s hard to combat a resume like what Jones has. But, his complicated history with drug testing leaves more questions than answers. 

The former champ has tested positive for banned substances on multiple occasions. In 2017, Jones had his second win over Daniel Cormier overturned to a no-contest because he popped for anabolic steroid turinabol. According to Jones, this stemmed from a tainted supplement. 

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Christopher De Santiago is a 22 year-old journalist out of Texas with years of experience covering MMA. Follow him on X: @chris_dsantiago

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