Game recognizes game.
2017 was a banner year for Greatest of All-Time discussions in MMA as Jon Jones, Demetrious Johnson, and Georges St-Pierre all restaked their claims as the best fighter to have ever done it. But one of those competitors stands out among those men, at least according to the fighter most considered to be the ‘GOAT’ until very recently.
Earlier this week, Anderson Silva told TMZ Sports that UFC flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson had surpassed him as the Greatest of All Time. It was a big endorsement for “Mighty Mouse,” and one he called “an honor,” though he says it’s premature.
“It’s awesome,” Johnson told TMZ Sports when asked to respond to Silva’s praise. “It’s always an honor when somebody like Anderson Silva [says that]. The status he’s got and what he’s done in mixed martial arts is amazing. I remember my first fight in the UFC. It was UFC 126: Anderson Silva vs. [Vitor] Belfort. I was there. He was main event. I like the guy. I think he’s had an amazing career, and he’s still going.”
“I don’t [think I’m the GOAT]. I don’t put a lot of stockage to that,” Johnson said. “Like I told somebody, once Jon Jones becomes reinstated, I’m sure he’s going to jump above me.”
Johnson truly inserted himself into the GOAT conversation this year by breaking the UFC record for most consecutive title defenses and doing it in style, with a never-before-seen Submission of the Year armbar. But despite Johnson having an impressive year, his two biggest competitors for the GOAT title also showed out, with Jon Jones knocking out Daniel Cormier at UFC 214 and Georges St-Pierre becoming only the fourth man to win title in two UFC weight classes when he submitted Michael Bisping at UFC 217.
But both of those men also had serious problems in 2017. Jones became the first fighter ever to be stripped of three UFC titles when he failed yet another USADA drug test and St-Pierre vacated his title shortly after winning it, giving him the shortest title reign in UFC history. Meanwhile, Johnson continues to beat every opponent they put in front of him, and in spectacular fashion. He may not be the GOAT yet, but if he keeps it up, Johnson says he’ll have the crown soon enough.
“I do believe that I have - out of all the champions and all of the opposition I ever fought - I’ve fought different styles, so, it’s getting there,”
Nope. John Kavanagh says Conor McGregor will still be champ even if UFC strips him.
Shame. Francis Ngannou calls Donald Trump “a shame for America.”
Health. Uriah Hall suffered “slight heart attack” ahead of UFC St. Louis.
Screwed. Daniel Cormier says Volkan Oezdemir is “screwed” tomorrow.
$$$. Paramount Exec explains moving Quinton Jackson vs. Chael Sonnen to main event.
Incredible fan made promo.
Tommy’s best in ages.
Espinoza talking about Dana.
How this will go down.
The MMA Vivisection. Previewing UFC 220.
Before the Battle. Breaking down UFC 220 and Bellator 192.
SOCIAL MEDIA BOUILLABAISSE
It’s happening. It took 5 years but we’re finally gonna get Brown-Condit.
When I said I was retiring I never said how long... Looks like it won’t be as long as I planned either— Matt Brown (@IamTheImmortal) January 18, 2018
DC is really vocal ahead of this one.
Volkan tried to say I look bad , when I asked him bout his weight this dude told me he’s heavier than I am Then his little minions ran out of the cafeteria to try and defend him. I told em to stay in their place before they get what volkan has coming to him on Saturday #ufc220 pic.twitter.com/IuO3NGESYu— Daniel Cormier (@dc_mma) January 18, 2018
McGregor drained buckets and dominated Eddie. Ngannou is now guaranteed to win the belt.
Threw out Some basketball skills today at the 76ers practice #NBA #UFC220 pic.twitter.com/Be0nBcL3jF— Francis NGannou (@francis_ngannou) January 18, 2018
Max is great.
Who is..... pic.twitter.com/ttAI5INHnb— Max Holloway (@BlessedMMA) January 18, 2018
Where da weed at in Phoenix Arizona?@Savjitsu— Nathan Diaz (@NateDiaz209) January 18, 2018
— Sean O'Malley (@SugaSeanMMA) January 19, 2018
Darren Till is not a small welterweight.
Here's @POSTERBOYJM and @darrentill2 in London today at a #UFC3 promo event. Fans will be delighted to know that Darren has been added to the game vs pic.twitter.com/7pifFU4dY1— Jim Edwards (@MMA_Jim) January 18, 2018
Roy Nelson should never have been a heavyweight.
I think I'm the smallest in the @bellatormma HWY tournament! What do you think? pic.twitter.com/En1hrb1amE— Roy Nelson (@roynelsonmma) January 19, 2018
Cool for Cub.
Pretty cool doing some commentary for the @PGATOUR here at the @cbgolfchallenge #FedExCup pic.twitter.com/cwyFO4c2Yz— Cub Swanson (@CubSwanson) January 18, 2018
Heather Hardy (1-1) vs. Ana Julaton (2-3); Bellator 194, Feb. 16.
Jeremy Stephens (27-14) vs. Josh Emmett (13-1); UFC Orlando, Feb. 24.
Ovince Saint Preux (22-10) vs. Ilir Latifi (13-5, 1 NC); UFC Orlando, Feb. 24.
Sara McMann (11-4) vs. Marion Reneau (8-3-1); UFC Orlando, Feb. 24.
Rani Yahya (24-9, 1 NC) vs. Russell Doane (15-7); UFC Orlando, Feb. 24.
Chris Fields (12-7-1) vs. Marjin Wojcik (10-5); KSW 42, March 3.
TODAY IN MMA HISTORY
2008: At UFC 80, B.J. Penn finally began his lightweight title reign, submitting Joe Stevenson to claim the vacant UFC lightweight title.
2013: Vitor Belfort knocked out Michael Bisping at UFC on FX 7.
The first big fight weekend of 2018 is upon us! UFC 220 isn’t a great card (really, it’s mostly bad) but it has two very good title fights and Bellator 192 is one of Bellator’s strongest entries in a long time, so all-together, this weekend is a strong one. I hope everyone enjoys the fights and see y’all Monday.
Who wins tomorrow night?
This poll is closed
If you find something you'd like to see in the Morning Report, hit me up on Twitter @JedKMeshew and let me know about it. Also follow MMAFighting on Instagram, add us on Snapchat at MMA-Fighting, and like us on Facebook.