Daniel Cormier believes former UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones is ineligible for consideration in the GOAT debate in MMA.
Cormier, who previously ruled over the UFC light heavyweight and heavyweight divisions, has fought Jones twice. In their first fight, Cormier lost by decision. In the second, he was knocked out, but the result was overturned when Jones tested positive for Turinabol, an anabolic steroid.
It is because of Jones’ issues with drug testing that Cormier believes he cannot be considered when attempting to identify the greatest fighter in MMA history.
“One of the most talented guys you’ll ever meet but again for me bad [drug] tests eliminate you from the conversation,” Cormier told MMA Fighting. “I just cannot understand how that is so hard to comprehend in a sport where we’re fighting each other. In baseball, bad tests eliminate you from being considered and being in the Hall of Fame and you’re hitting a ball. You’re hitting an object that has no feeling. In fighting, you’re punching people, human beings, and you have bad tests that eliminates you. It’s just too dangerous.
“So I think when you start to think about the greatest of all time for all the things and all the great victories, you can’t look at those, me personally being a guy that those fights did really long term damage to my career, it’s hard for me to say [Jon Jones] is the greatest of all time when every time we fought, there was some sort of issue. That for me, it just kind of changes the conversation.”
Daniel Cormier continued, drawing a line in the sand with respect to performance-enhancing drug use and the GOAT debate, claiming that not even former UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva, another one of his former opponents, is eligible for consideration.
“You hit a baseball, the baseball has no feeling,” Cormier said. “You’re hitting it with a bat and look how they treat Barry Bonds and Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa. Look at how they treat those guys in that sport. You know what’s crazy about that, too? In baseball they treat Barry Bonds and them like that and it wasn’t even illegal. There was no rule that said those guys couldn’t take steroids and look at how they treat them. Look at how they treat them.
“Jones was having bad tests while we had USADA and people still want to place him at the top of the all time greatest list,” Cormier added. “That’s crazy. It wasn’t even illegal in baseball in the late 90’s and those guys are hitting homeruns freaking 50 yards longer than they ever have. It’s just a different sport obviously, but it just seems like the possibilities of damage are just so much more severe in mixed martial arts. For anyone, even Anderson [Silva]. Anderson was the man. Bad tests, I don’t care if it’s for viagra, it does not matter. It’s a bad test. Bad tests in a combat sport where you’re punching people, just not right. It eliminates you.”
So who does Cormier consider the GOAT of MMA? He’s undecided, but points to Khabib Nurmagomedov, Georges St-Pierre, Demetrious Johnson and BJ Penn as frontrunners.
“It sucks, too, cause they’re so immensely talented,” Cormier said. “So talented that I don’t think any of those guys ever needed to do anything wrong and would have been clean. Like Khabib’s clean. Nobody has heard or suggested or thought that he’s done anything negatively outside of missing weight when he was on his way up. Those are the things that he is going to have to deal with in terms of negatively. Demetrious Johnson is actually completely clean. No missed weights, no failed tests, he’s just clean.
“Those are the types of guys you look at and say ‘that guy’s the greatest fighter of all-time.’”
Do you agree with Daniel Cormier on this topic?