One of the biggest questions in all of MMA is who is the GOAT? Is it someone who had the biggest impact on the sport or the person who won the most? It’s an interesting debate for fighters and fans alike to have at any time.
So, with little to no MMA on for the foreseeable future, BJPENN.com reached out to several current and former bantamweights to ask who their divisional GOAT is. The majority believe it is Dominick Cruz, but had T.J. Dillashaw not been suspended for PEDs he might’ve been giving the nod.
Bantamweights Decide Who The 135-Pound GOAT Is
Randy Costa, UFC bantamweight: I think this could go two different directions with either Cruz or Faber. The only thing that really pulls me away from Cruz is his inconsistency of making it to the fight night and how often he gets injured. On the other hand, the thing that pulls me away from Faber is that he lost 2/3 fights to Cruz but has always been consistent. Both guys have been at the top of the division pretty much forever and both are fan favorites.
Also, I don’t recall a time where there has been any bad press on either guy. Any time you hear about them it’s positive. They’re never involved in any bullshit, trouble, or anything between. To me, those are the guys that come to mind as TJ popped for PEDs so he is removed from the picture.
Brad Pickett, former UFC bantamweight: For me, obviously bantamweight was my division for a very long time and I was very close to it. I think it is Dominick Cruz. He was a very dominant champion and especially with all the injuries he had he could’ve achieved more. The belt has been changing hands so frequently since he lost it. So, for me, the most dominant champion and the GOAT of bantamweight is Dominick Cruz.
Benito Lopez, UFC bantamweight: I would have to say that the bantamweight GOAT as of right now would have to be Dominick Cruz. He has beaten some of the best, had one of if not the most title defenses and never popped for PEDs. If TJ didn’t pop for something everyone was saying he’d be up there. But, because he did cheat I have to go with Cruz.
Jack Shore, UFC bantamweight: For me, the bantamweight GOAT is Dominick Cruz. He beat the who’s who of the division between the WEC and early days of UFC. He was dominant as champ.
Louis Smolka, UFC bantamweight: It’s between Dominick Cruz, Renan Barao or [Norifumi] “Kid” Yamamoto. But, I would honestly lean towards Dominick for his skill and creativity in his approach to a fairly new spore which helped revolutionize the way we understand MMA today.
Cole Smith, UFC bantamweight: I have to go with Dominick Cruz. Most title defenses in the division and did it clean without getting caught cheating.
Manny Bermudez, former UFC bantamweight: I’d say Renan Barao. At the time he was a beast with a tricky striking and great grappling. He also dominated everyone during his reign.
Consensus bantamweight GOAT: Dominick Cruz
Do you agree with the pros that Dominick Cruz is the bantamweight GOAT? Let us know in the comment section.
ICYMI: Yesterday we had the flyweights pick their 125-pound GOAT.
Stay locked to BJPENN.com over the coming days to see who pros picked as the GOAT for every division.
This article first appeared on BJPENN.com on 3/27/2020.