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ColinBollocks

Who is the GOAT?

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Loki    1

If you can't win fights, and stack championships, you shouldn't be in the discussion David.  It's when weighing similarly decorated fighters that you can start to think about the intangibles.

Most of all, it's about who you beat.  As Keith said, any of Joe Frasier, Foreman, Sonny Liston, hell Patterson would have been long term champs in the modern era.  

What I find interesting about MMA (and I'm nothing more than a casual viewer here) is that the sport is completely different to what it was in the 90s.  You had guys trained in multiple different combat styles all adapting to a unified set of rules and so to be on top you had to contend with a multiple of styles.

Now we're into an era where fighters have grown up learning "MMA" as a hybrid style - they kickbox, box and learn ju jitsu in equal measure and prepare for fighters that also have that broad spread of skills.  It's a completely different thing.  How you compare a Dan Severn to a Derrick Lewis, I've no idea.

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Keith Houchen    190

I agree, Loki.  I remember our David saying on here how MMA had evolved past Fedor and that's why he is just a product of his time so to speak.  Obviously in Boxing the stance has evolved and whatnot, look at the footage of Fitzsimmons beating Corbett, to the rigidness of Jack Johnson.  I think Dempsey was the birth of the boxing style we are familiar with, and Tunney beat him due to a different style and not a long count!

MMA is a still evolving sport and we are able to see its evolution from the comfort of our laptops, what a time to be alive. 

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Tamura    3

MMA, and indeed lots of other sports, is full of fighters who've chosen to continue competing past their prime. Whether it be for the need of money, a genuine belief they are still competitive, an urge to fight, whatever, I choose to judge people on their prime.

Jon Jones and Anderson Silva are immediately disqualified for being drug cheats. Mighty Mouse is up there, he's certainly the GOAT flyweight but I have difficulty assessing where his opponents stand in pound-for-pound rankings so don't feel I can rank him top. GSP is up there too, and almost came top. He (almost) always had the right strategy to beat each opponent, grounding and pounding the dangerous strikers while keeping the dangerous submission grapplers in a stand up fight. That's not really a criticism as it's obviously the right way to fight for almost everyone, everyone except my GOAT Fedor Emelianenko. While he certainly fought on too long, in his prime he seemed unstoppable. He was willing to stay in Big Nog's guard despite him being easily in the top 5 heavyweights for submissions. Equally he was willing to stand and trade with Cro Cop. He fought Olympic silver medalist judkoa Naoya Ogawa and arm-barred him, Fedor didn't seem to have any weakness at all. Apart from his chicken dance against Fujita of course...

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the_mole    1

GSP is an average size guy. Height wise with a muscular body, DJ is what 5ft. 3 135lbs he's smaller than the majority of the North American public for a man, GSP isn't. The WW a much stronger division than the Flw division, so it should be a lot harder to finish those guys, it's also been around in some form since about 2000 while 125 has been around since 2012 or something.

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Muhammad Ali transcended the sport of Boxing and rightly so because he lived up to his moniker of the Greatest. What's often forgotten about Ali too is that he had to deal with hatred for not going to Vietnam and his religious conversion too. I think he was generally accepted even loved in the UK because of his charismatic personality and appearances on Parky. If you watch any of his US based fights post his suspension you'll hear a smattering of boos where some fans were rooting against him to lose so Ali had to deal with that too yet managed to regain the championship and solidify his place on the Boxing mount Rushmore.

Muhammad Ali won the BBCs sportsman of the Century IIRC and I think that was a very deserving accolade. Although he said he borrowed some of his schtick from Gorgeous George Ali was an original and so many fighters since have borrowed from him. He paved the way and because of his success I think it made boxing more mainstream. His super fights Thriller in Manilla etc caught the interest of the public where say in the 50s it was older guys sitting in smoke filled arenas as the core audience. Muhammad Ali changed all that because of his mainstream appeal. In the modern day he'd be just as big a star I think because his charisma was off the charts which today would equate to huge box office.

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