UFC legend Georges St-Pierre says that if it was up to him, he’d name Royce Gracie as MMA’s GOAT, while admitting Jon Jones is the best of the modern era.
The question of who is the MMA GOAT is always a difficult one to answer. If you ask fans, media, and fighters, they will all give you a different answer. But generally, the top fighters who are listed are GSP, Jones, Gracie, Anderson Silva, Demetrious Johnson, and Khabib Nurmagomedov, plus a few others. But that is the shortlist of the potential GOATs.
If you ask GSP, though, Gracie is the best to ever do it. Speaking to TMZ Sports, GSP listed Gracie as the GOAT in MMA, although he admitted Jones is the best fighter currently.
“The GOAT for me, it has a different significance. For me, it’s Royce Gracie because Royce Gracie is the one who really changed the sport. He changed the entire belief system in what a real fight is. So I think Royce Gracie is there,” GSP said.
“Jon Jones is there. I believe that Jon Jones in the modern-day era is the best guy. There’s also Khabib who could be there. There’s a lot of guys.
“But one guy who I would for sure put there is Royce Gracie, there’s no doubt about it. We should never forget about the guys who were there before us. We should never forget about these guys. It’s like Einstein says, we stand on the shoulders of giants. They paved the way for us.”
GSP said that he doesn’t believe that modern-day UFC fighters are any better than the pioneers. Instead, GSP believes that because we have access to the internet freely now, it’s allowed a whole new generation of fighters to learn things faster than those in the past.
“Now with the internet, we have access to information that’s much easier than back in the day. Now I can learn an armbar with a guy in Australia teaching it on my cell phone. Before it was not like that. I had to physically be there in a room. I drove to New York and learned jiu-jitsu at Renzo Gracie’s academy. It’s a totally different ball game. I don’t believe fighters are better. I believe technology is better. I mean athletes are not better today than they were before. The technology and the knowledge, the access is better. That’s why the fighters are better. It’s not because they are a better person. They’re the same. It’s because they have easier access to the knowledge than they had in the past.”
Do you agree with GSP that Royce Gracie is the GOAT and Jon Jones is the best of the modern era?