Georges St-Pierre believes Jon Jones is current GOAT: ‘People have no idea how tough he is’

Georges St-Pierre has Jon Jones at the top of his GOAT list – for now.

When discussions are had about the best MMA fighters of all time, St-Pierre and Jones are typically at the front of the conversation alongside Khabib Nurmagomedov, Anderson Silva, Demetrious Johnson, Fedor Emelianenko, and others. St-Pierre, though, himself has said on multiple occasions that pound-for-pound talk is somewhat frivolous.

That said, on the aptly named Pound 4 Pound podcast, St-Pierre was again asked for his opinion on who is MMA’s greatest, and he didn’t shy away from praising the UFC’s reigning heavyweight champion.

“In terms of where we are now, I think it’s hard to find someone better than Jon Jones,” St-Pierre said. “Jon Jones is so good. Jon Jones is extremely talented, but he’s also extremely tough. People have no idea how tough he is. I’ve trained with him, I’ve seen him going through the grind. He’s so freaking tough. I remember the fight that he had with Vitor Belfort, I think his arm got dislocated, and he fought even with a dislocated arm. Even one of his fights, his toe was broken.

“Most of the time when you have a guy that is very talented, it doesn’t come with toughness. Jon Jones is the full package. He’s got everything. Elite striker, elite grappler, [and] he’s good everywhere.

“Of course, there’s things that people will say, ‘He did this, he did that,’ but in terms of who’s the best, he came back, beat Ciryl Gane the way he did. It’s hard to have an argument.”

Though Jones is currently the UFC’s top-ranked heavyweight, he cemented his legacy with his work at 205 pounds, where held a title for over 1500 days, knocking off a litany of legends and dangerous challengers.

Jones is also yet to be practically defeated in a professional fight, with his lone setback a disqualification for illegal strikes in a 2009 fight against Matt Hamill that he was dominating.

Jones ran through Gane at UFC 285 in March 2023 to claim a vacant heavyweight title and strengthen his case to be considered the GOAT. He has a history of outside-of-the-cage issues including failed drug tests and several regrettable run-ins with the law, but his fight night performances have rarely disappointed.

To give context to just how difficult it is to declare a fighter to be the best ever, St-Pierre brought up Royce Gracie, the MMA pioneer that influenced St-Pierre and an entire generation of martial artists. Gracie’s Brazilian jiu-jitsu expertise made him invincible in the early days of the UFC, but the business was constantly evolving.

Evolution is the reason St-Pierre is confident even Jones will be surpassed someday.

“For me, the best, the one that made the difference for me because he inspired me was Royce Gracie,” he said. “Do I think Royce Gracie would have done well nowadays in the octagon? No, I don’t. I think the best pound-for-pound in that regard is not even born yet, because things will start getting better. Records are made to beaten.”

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