MMA icon Frank Shamrock backs Jon Jones as GOAT

Frank Shamrock

Frank Shamrock knows a thing or two about greatness in Martial Arts. He won the interim King of Pancrase title as well as belts in WEC and Strikeforce. He was also the first fighter to win the UFC middleweight championship (later known as light heavyweight.)

There aren’t many people who’ve contributed more or have a deeper knowledge about Mixed Martial Arts than ‘The Legend.’ As debates about which MMA fighter is the GOAT right now continue to rage on, it’s interesting to hear his take.

“I think collectively it’s probably Jon Jones.” said Shamrock.

“I just think if you watch his arc and evolution and performance. The things that he’s done physically have been out of this world. I think Khabib is definitely in there. But just as an athlete, as a performer I love what Jon Jones has done.”

Noting that Jones would actually have been in his weight class nowadays, Frank Shamrock remarked,

“Thank goodness I never met him when I was a middleweight because he’s a good five inches taller than me and forty LB heavier – the middleweights have gotten a lot bigger since I was in there.”

Shamrock has his own claims for being in the conversation. He went 5-0 in the UFC in part of an overall unbeaten run that stretch almost a decade between 1997-2007. Given that there’s been so many different great generations of MMA fighters, he believes that the ‘GOAT’ is a fluid concept.

“When it comes to fighting, every 5-7 years there’s a new greatest. It’s meant to be that way. The athlete evolves. At one time I was that guy. GSP was that guy. BJ Penn was that guy. Just, time marches forward.” said Shamrock,

“But for me,” Frank continued, “the thing that stands out are the people that use that platform or use that persona to do something really good. That’s why Bruce Lee has been my favorite Martial Artist forever because he was able to take his Martial Arts passion and put it into such a larger medium. And after I became ‘the greatest’ I realized that it wasn’t enough. I needed to become the best entertainer or the best businessman or the best this or the best that. I needed to move the sport forward so more people can see it.”

Again, citing the man many consider ‘the Godfather of MMA,’ he said,

“I still think it’s Bruce Lee. I still think he’s done more for Martial Arts globally than any other Martial Artist. Second to that would be Chuck Norris. And so I really respect what Bruce Lee was able to do. And to be able to make that transition into film, and to being an activist and to being a spokesman. And that’s what I hope more athletes in this era do, because we have this platform and people love us. There’s a moment in time; – 5-7 years where you could become the greatest and I love to see athletes who pay it forward. Teach, learn, share and keep growing the sport and then the idea behind combat sports.”

Do you agree with Frank Shamrock’s GOAT picks?