It’s easy to forget just how accomplished Jon Jones really is.
The former two-time UFC light heavyweight champion, who vacated his title voluntarily, has a whopping 11 title defenses to his name and holds championship victories over Daniel Cormier, Rashad Evans, Rampage Jackson, Lyoto Machida, and Alexander Gustafsson, just to name a few. On top of that Jones is also the youngest champion in UFC history, having won the title at 23-years-old when he dismantled Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua in the UFC 128 main event back in 2011.
For those reasons, Joe Rogan believes Jones should be ranked ahead of Khabib Nurmagomedov in the official UFC pound-for-pound debate as the JacksonWink protege is easily the most accomplished fighter in the world.
“That is the argument right, like who is the GOAT?” Rogan told Luke Thomas in a recent episode of the Joe Rogan Experience (h/t Derek Hall of Middle Easy). “I think if you look at Jon Jones’s early career, Jon Jones wins the title early in his career, in 2011 and from then on has fought more fights as championship fights than any other fights. So he’s the most accomplished for sure. Wins the title, youngest guy to ever win the title in the UFC, beats Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua who’s a legend, then the way he dominates all these other fighters…
“Up until he gets to Alexander Gustafsson you can make the argument that he had a similar career (as Khabib),” Rogan continued. “If you look at what he did. Jon didn’t lose any rounds, Jon was smashing people. Look at what he did to Rashad Evans, look what he did to Rampage Jackson, look at what he did to Lyoto Machida. Everybody he fought, up until the Gustafsson fight. But then with the Gustafsson, how much slack do you give him for admittedly not training?”
“Look at the way he beat Daniel Cormier in the first fight,” Joe Rogan said. “Took him down, like who the f–k takes Daniel Cormier down, right? Then you look at the second fight, even though it was ruled a no contest we all know what the f–k happened. He head kicked (Cormier) and stopped him. It was spectacular.”
Rogan makes salient points but Khabib has officially surpassed Jones in the P4P rankings following his submission win over Justin Gaethje at UFC 254. The undefeated Dagestani (29-0 MMA, 13-0 UFC, 3 lightweight title defenses) announced his retirement in the post-fight interview and laid down his gloves in the octagon. UFC president Dana White is hoping Nurmagomedov reconsiders his retirement and returns to the octagon to complete his 30th fight.