Who is the greatest mixed martial arts fighter of all-time? It is an age old question, the answer to which varies from person to person. We would need to construct three Mount Rushmores for the amount of fighters that have been referred to as great.
Definitively though, who is the greatest? We have seen names thrown into the mix such as Daniel Cormier and his foil Jon Jones; Georges St-Pierre and Anderson Silva. However, I believe we can narrow the debate down to two names: Daniel Cormier and Georges St-Pierre.
Daniel Cormier and Georges St-Pierre are amongst the few fighters that have won world titles in two different weight classes. However, Cormier’s attitude post win may be evidence that he is the greatest. GSP and Conor McGregor both vacated their belts after winning them. Cormier, looks to hold down both titles.
The UFC are not stripping Cormier because he has expressly stated that he has two fights left in his career. The heavyweight and light heavyweight champion intends to retire in March 2019, he plans on defending both titles before riding off into the sunset.
With that said, St-Pierre looks poised to challenge the winner of Khabib vs McGregor. Should he challenge for the lightweight belt and win, GSP would be a three weight world champion. To my mind he would be the first person in history to do so, in the sport as a whole.
This would surely make him the best to ever do it. He dominated the welterweight division during his initial run, beating some of the best in the world. After a four year lay-off, he returned at middleweight and dethroned Michael Bisping.
It is worth noting that Bisping has beaten some of the sport’s biggest names, one of which was Anderson Silva, a name that is often considered in the GOAT debate.
Cormier is also the lineal champion of his divisions, he fought at heavyweight before entering the UFC’s 205 pound ranks. During his time at heavyweight he dispatched monsters like Josh Barnett and ‘Bigfoot’ Silva. Names that have beaten the legendary Fedor Emelianenko.
Not to mention the fact that he knocked out Stipe Miocic, the man with the longest title reign to-date. Cormier has beaten everyone and they have beaten everybody else.
There is also the issue of records. GSP has losses but he rematched them and got the win back. Of course you could say that one win apiece warrants a trilogy fight but he did it pretty emphatically both times. Cormier has never avenged his losses to Jon Jones, although I do not put a lot of stock in records, it does put him slightly behind GSP in this case.
Right now, I believe Georges St-Pierre slightly edges Daniel Cormier for greatest of all-time status. Although it may sound like a paradox, all-time great status is frequently changing. The prestigious title lays with either one of them, their upcoming fights will definitively determine which of them it is.