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ColinBollocks

Who is the GOAT?

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This debate sort of got started in the Jones thread, but it probably will make a half decent topic on it's own.

Anyway,

For me, it's GSP, with Silva*, Jones*, Velasquez, DJ and Joanna behind him, in that order.

I've only ever seen Fedor post-Pride, so while I take everyone's word he was amazing, it's impossible for me to see him as that, seeing as he's looked nothing like his old self when I've viewed him.

I also think Stipe is a win or two away from making the list. If he crushes Cain he's in the top 4/5.

Obviously, I put the * next to Silva and Jones because, while they were/are great fighters, you could easily DQ them from the discussion, seeing as they may very well have spent most of their career downing "dick pills".

GSP never truly got his due, I felt, in his prime, because people were always going on about how boring he was, because he was too clever to put himself in danger. He analysed the opponent and played the odds, usually nullifying his opponents strengths and coasting to another dominating win.

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wandshogun09    30

I just posted this in the Jon Jones fuckup thread but I guess it should've really gone in here; 

Re: Cain Velasquez 

3 minutes ago, wandshogun09 said:

I'm a big fan of Cain but you also have to take into account that he didn't fight that many guys either. The last couple of years he was fighting he was almost exclusively alternating between Dos Santos and Bigfoot. Seriously, after beating Brock in 2010 he fought only against JDS and Bigfoot between 2011-2015 before the Werdum and Travis Browne fights. Of course, he lost the Werdum fight and as good as he looked against Browne, Browne is the heavyweight Barry Horowitz these days. He can't beat an egg much less Cain Vefuckinglasquez. 

Don't get me wrong, Cain is/was great but I'm honestly not sure anymore where I'd rank him all-time. He did destroy JDS twice, when JDS was at his most scary. So that alone puts him in the convo. But 'best ever'? I just don't think we got enough of him for long enough and against enough different guys. His best shit was that JDS-Bigfoot-JDS-Bigfoot-JDS spell in 2011-13. But that could be misleading. I mean, if Renan Barao only fought alternating fights against Urijah Faber and Eddie Wineland for years on end, and never ran into TJ Dillashaw, I'm sure he'd have had a longer and more dominant run as well.

It's hard to guage. He was great but sometimes I think we put Cain in the GOAT bracket more because we've been told for ages that he should be in the GOAT bracket rather than what he actually did. He had the potential to be the best ever, and as unlikely as it looks now, maybe he can get back there. But I don't know if it's as cut and dry that he's in the mix. He's more a question mark for me, injuries really fucked him, and us, out of that proper killer run. 

For me #1 is still GSP, with Mighty Mouse nipping right at his heels. As awesome as Anderson and Jones were, they've disqualified themselves for me with their test failures. 

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jimufctna24    7

GSP.

He cleared out his division several times over. This is doubly impressive as the welterweight division has a high turnover of fighters. A fresh batch of legitimate and serious contenders cropped up every few years when GSP reigned. GSP saw them all off. He avenged both losses on his record as well. He stopped Hughes twice, proving without question that he was the better fighter. He dominated Serra in their rematch as well.

I don't think GSP's division ever passed him by either. I have reason to believe that a prime version of GSP could beat any Welterweight on today's roster. Woodley is the only fighter that would make me think twice about that belief. The same could possibly said of a prime version of Fedor with today's Heavyweight division. But I don't think it could be said about a prime version of Anderson with today's Middleweight division. I think the likes of Rockhold, Weidman, Romero, etc would give him a lot of issues, and he'd end up winning as many as he lost.

My opinion Jones stands is up in the air. Ask me in a few years time when my head is a bit clearer. I would rate Aldo about on par with Anderson; somewhere around the top 5. The losses to McGregor and Max have pushed him out of the top 3. Mighty Mouse doesn't do much for me. I've never really taken to the Flyweight division. You can't fault what he's achieved though, or his talent. Cain is an odd one. Wand summed it up nicely. 

If pressed:

1. GSP

2. Jones (pending)

3. Mighty Mouse (my head is in this pick, not my heart)

4. Fedor

5. Aldo

Anderson and Cain would be just underneath. 

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the_mole    1

The Welterweight division has been one of the most stacked divisions in MMA since the early 00's the fact GSP beat all the top guys for about 10 years puts him ahead of DJ.

Anderson Silva & Jon Jones both dominated as well, the PED failures hurt their legacy but their opponents were getting the same tests during their prime runs Anderson beat some really good Middleweights most of the time with ease, he also beat Light Heavyweights pretty easy and Jones ran through 5 former champions as well as other dangerous fighters.

I would say GSP fought, beat and never failed a test against about a dozen top level fighters. DJ has dominated but his division isn't deep he beat guys who were up and comers and needed more big fight experience, even Ray Borg is only 24 and would probably benefit from a few more top 10 fights. He did beat Benavidez & Dodson twice but that's probably the only guys I would put as top level fighters at flyweight.

Anderson is what 41, he always relied on his speep, you can blame steroids but you can't discount his age, in their prime Roy Jones was better than Bernard Hopkins but his reflexes got slower and Hopkins was able to fight at a high level into his mid 40's and RJJ is losing to guys he would embarrass 15 year ago.

Edited by the_mole
Mistake

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David    63

The thing that always gets me when GSP discussions happen is that people, for one reason or another, completely overlook his distinct lack of finishes and his all-round boring style when they herald him as a huge star. He went five years and nine fights without actually stopping anyone properly. His last proper finish was Matt Serra at UFC 83 in April 2008.

These traits of being boring, not all that charismatic and not finishing fights are thrown at Johnson a lot of the time, but if anything GSP is even worse. I also think that he looked like a fighter on the slide against Hendricks last time out. That was a fight that he realistically shouldn't have been given the nod in. 

GSP's star power is essentially built on being great in the cage, and being Canadian.

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31 minutes ago, David said:

The thing that always gets me when GSP discussions happen is that people, for one reason or another, completely overlook his distinct lack of finishes and his all-round boring style when they herald him as a huge star. He went five years and nine fights without actually stopping anyone properly. His last proper finish was Matt Serra at UFC 83 in April 2008.

These traits of being boring, not all that charismatic and not finishing fights are thrown at Johnson a lot of the time, but if anything GSP is even worse. I also think that he looked like a fighter on the slide against Hendricks last time out. That was a fight that he realistically shouldn't have been given the nod in. 

GSP's star power is essentially built on being great in the cage, and being Canadian.

The idea that GSP was boring, that his fights were boring, or that he lacked charisma, is a total crock.

GSP’s style was to actively neutralize his opponent, to cut off his avenues of attack and completely shut them down. And it’s not as if GSP was totally inactive in terms of offense himself; if GSP saw an opening, he went for it. GSP just didn’t force an opening, and he didn’t really have to because his opponents did that for him when they went on the attack. It’s not like GSP was laying and praying, either. GPS was constantly active, constantly moving, constantly working. Sorry if GSP wasn’t throwing spinning shit and doing something stupid and putting himself in danger just to entertain the ‘just bleed’ crowd.

And knocking GSP for not finishing opponents is doing those opponents an incredible disservice. The opponents GSP faced during his time on top were guys who were not easy to stop, so it’s not like GSP was unable to do something a lot of other people could do.

GSP’s grappling-heavy style, which he did mix up with strikes, may not be for everyone, and that’s fine, but just because you can’t appreciate it that doesn’t make it boring, and calling it boring only puts you in the same category as the ‘just bleed’ brigade.

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David    63
22 minutes ago, Noah Southworth said:

The idea that GSP was boring, that his fights were boring, or that he lacked charisma, is a total crock.

GSP’s style was to actively neutralize his opponent, to cut off his avenues of attack and completely shut them down. And it’s not as if GSP was totally inactive in terms of offense himself; if GSP saw an opening, he went for it. GSP just didn’t force an opening, and he didn’t really have to because his opponents did that for him when they went on the attack. It’s not like GSP was laying and praying, either. GPS was constantly active, constantly moving, constantly working. Sorry if GSP wasn’t throwing spinning shit and doing something stupid and putting himself in danger just to entertain the ‘just bleed’ crowd.

And knocking GSP for not finishing opponents is doing those opponents an incredible disservice. The opponents GSP faced during his time on top were guys who were not easy to stop, so it’s not like GSP was unable to do something a lot of other people could do.

GSP’s grappling-heavy style, which he did mix up with strikes, may not be for everyone, and that’s fine, but just because you can’t appreciate it that doesn’t make it boring, and calling it boring only puts you in the same category as the ‘just bleed’ brigade.

To people who follow the sport to such an extent that they post regularly on an internet forum, sure, GSP isn't boring.

My point is, the same reasons that we hear being used to label someone like Demetrious Johnson or even Tyron Woodley as boring are the exact same reasons that can be thrown at GSP as well, aren't they? 

He's not causing mayhem at press conferences, turning every fight into a grudge match, cursing and yelling, or causing headlines in his personal life, and neither is Johnson or Woodley.

So, my question is, what's the difference? I've heard it said numerous times that DJ has to "start promoting himself", whatever that means. Does GSP "promote himself"?

From what I can see DJ, Woodley and GSP are guys who are relatively quiet when they aren't fighting. None of them create grudge matches. They simply get in the cage, and do what they have to in order to win.

But, when GSP does a good job of neutralising a top class opponent en route to another points win it's considered a masterclass by a GOAT contender. When Woodley does the same thing against a BJJ legend he's considered boring and pulled out of the money fight. Same goes for DJ, he gets shit constantly for it.

I don't know what the difference is between the three of them, but I'll bet you that T-Wood would have an answer to that question, wouldn't he?

Edited by David

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Carbomb    8

"T-Wood's" answer would be shit and cheap, though. 

Anyone throwing "boring" at DJ needs their head checked, because that's conflating his fighting style with his promotional personality, and they're not the same thing. DJ's unexciting when it comes to promotion, but his fighting style is great to watch, because it's mesmerising. The guy is just so damned skilful.

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WeeAl    4

I think it has a lot to do with coming along at a time when being the champion automatically made you a bigger star. The titles were less watered down at GSP's UFC peak, and being a champion or former champion at that time, offered you greater star power than the same label would now. Add into that GSP's dominance for such a long time over a stacked division and you have part of the reason. On top of that, GSP carried himself with a degree of professionalism and class that was the opposite of the mainstream opinion of a 'cage fighter'. In essence he was the typical blue eye, with the right skills, in the right place and at the right time. 

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Carbomb    8

By "watered down", do you mean the recent predilection for creating interim titles? 

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WeeAl    4
25 minutes ago, Carbomb said:

By "watered down", do you mean the recent predilection for creating interim titles? 

Yes. That as well as having many more weight classes (whilst great in the sporting context) means being a champion isn't quite as exclusive a club as it once was. 

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Carbomb    8

For me, having more weight classes doesn't really devalue championships, because it doesn't increase the number of opportunities fighters get by much; the addition of the Flyweight division, for example, does nothing for LHW because no light-heavies can compete for it anyway.

The interim thing is the biggest problem for me. It's starting to feel like management have no better ideas than that kind of grand-standing to generate interest in their matches.

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lambyUK    3

I'm going to throw a name out there that I believe deserves to be in the running, even at this stage in his career, and that's Conor Mcgregor.

I understand the lack of title defences is to be considered, but I truly think the feat of becoming  the only ever simultaneous dual division champion should really put him in the running.

He beat what many considered the greatest of all time in Aldo in 13 bloody seconds and I think on top of the people he's beaten, he's finished everyone of his wins bar 1. I also think the fact he's easily the biggest draw in mixed martial arts history has to count for something as well.

 

 

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David    63
1 hour ago, lambyUK said:

I'm going to throw a name out there that I believe deserves to be in the running, even at this stage in his career, and that's Conor Mcgregor.

I understand the lack of title defences is to be considered, but I truly think the feat of becoming  the only ever simultaneous dual division champion should really put him in the running.

He beat what many considered the greatest of all time in Aldo in 13 bloody seconds and I think on top of the people he's beaten, he's finished everyone of his wins bar 1. I also think the fact he's easily the biggest draw in mixed martial arts history has to count for something as well.

The lack of title defences? You mean his lack of any title defences, surely?

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jimufctna24    7
4 hours ago, David said:

GSP's star power is essentially built on being great in the cage, and being Canadian.

Not entirely. 

GSP is a product of the Spike TV era. Shows like Primetime and TUF exposed his affable personality to a wider audience. Fighters don't get that sort of exposure today. The UFC's business model is a bit different.

Also, the Welterweight division was star-studded. Alves looked like a beast before GSP handled him. Hughes and Koschecks were smug pricks. People would pay to see them get beat up. Nick Diaz is Nick Diaz. While the fights themselves were rarely fight of the year contenders, I enjoyed the vast majority of GSP's reign. I always cared about his fights because of the personalities involved, and his immense skill was something to marvel at. 

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