UFC President Dana White has seen them all and when it comes to naming four fighters who deserve to be immortalized on a mountainside, even he had to pause to consider his options.
During an appearance on The Schmozone Podcast, White was asked who he would put in his MMA Mount Rushmore, a hypothetical monument with undefined criteria that would presumably involve in-cage success, mainstream recognition, and impact on the sport. To start, White named Royce Gracie, the massively influential star of the UFC’s earliest days, and dominant champions Amanda Nunes and Jon Jones.
“If you’re talking about a Mount Rushmore where the heads are carved in stone forever, you have to go Royce Gracie. No-brainer, have to do that,” White said. “Amanda Nunes. Has to be Amanda Nunes, greatest female fighter ever. The other two are tough.
“I would have to go with a Jon Jones. The guy’s never been beat and what’s more amazing about him going undefeated — which is incredibly amazing because very few people do it in the sport — is the things that he’s done to himself outside of the octagon and he still hasn’t been beat.”
White’s recent professional and philosophical disagreements with Nunes and Jones didn’t stop him from heaping praise on the fighters and he went as far as to say that he’s campaigned on multiple occasions to have Jones’s lone loss — a dubious disqualification against Matt Hamill in 2009 — stricken from the record.
“Believe me, I have battled to get that thing overturned and it’s almost impossible to do,” White said. “That’s the problem when you get incompetent people in there. That guy (referee Steve Mazzagatti) is as incompetent a referee as I’ve ever seen in my life. It was during a very weak period during the Nevada State Athletic commission, the director was weak and there were other weak people throughout the commission at that time. It’s so hard to get that stuff overturned. It’s just an example of how important it is to have the right people in there.
“Jon Jones should have a zero [in the loss column] after his name.”
For the remaining spot, White leaned towards his close friend and former UFC light heavyweight champion Chuck Liddell. “The Iceman” was a key figure during the promotion’s rise to mainstream popularity during the 2000s. His feuds with Randy Couture and Tito Ortiz helped to propel the UFC from curiosity to legitimate pay-per-view success.
White also considered fan favorite Forrest Griffin and the suggestions of Anderson Silva and Georges St-Pierre, but ultimately went with Liddell.
“Number four on the Mount Rushmore, I guess you’d have to go with Chuck Liddell,” White said. “At the point in time, he was as big a star as ever. It’s almost a coin flip between Chuck Liddell and Forrest Griffin and they’re both from the same show, the first season of The Ultimate Fighter. Chuck became a massive star, was the highest paid guy in the company at the time and all that stuff.”
“If you look at what Anderson Silva did for Brazil and what GSP did for Canada, these guys who had impact on an entire country,” White added. “It’s very massive and very strong.”
Confidence. Dan Hooker believes he’ll put Dustin Poirier away inside the distance when they meet on June 27.
Retirement? Dana White wouldn’t be surprised if Amanda Nunes retired.
Troll. Darren Till is going out of his way to antagonize Mike Perry.
Unhappy. Cosmo Alexandre is butting heads with ONE Championship over his pay.
Between the Links, Episode 3.
Ali Abdelaziz’s latest challenge for Conor McGregor.
Learn from the Red King.
ICYMI: Bellator’s tribute to Kimbo Slice.
UFC Unfiltered. Matt Serra and Jim Norton talk to rising contenders Merab Dvalishvili and Marvin Vettori.
The Mookie & Crookie Show. Recapping UFC on ESPN 10, plus thoughts on Junior dos Santos vs. Jairzinho Rozenstruik and Jorge Masvidal’s ongoing negotiation drama.
SOCIAL MEDIA BOUILLABAISSE
More Joe Silva stories from a UFC veteran.
Joe Silva told me...Since I lost on the Ultimate Fighter that I would never be good enough for the UFC. So once I got in he hated me, then couldn’t wait for me to lose. So he gave me four badass newcomers and once I lost he cut me after 3 previous KO victories.— Gerald Harris (@GHurricane) June 16, 2020
Aleksei Oleinik accepts a fight as our ancestors once did.
Dr. Schaub is in the building.
Brendan Schaub reports on the coronavirus spike in Arizona pic.twitter.com/3v3553RQlT— Borrachinha Depot (@FullContactMTWF) June 16, 2020
At least it’s not up your nose anymore. Covid Testing @ufc pic.twitter.com/z2CbL1vrYT— Tecia Torres (@TeciaTorres) June 16, 2020
Imagine Francis Ngannou getting on that Tony Ferguson training regimen
Or imagine this man coming at you on the rugby field.
Roxanne Modafferi powering up for the weekend.
Brendan Allen (14-3) vs. Kyle Daukaus (9-0); UFC on ESPN 12, June 27.
Elizeu Zaleski (22-6) vs. Muslim Salikhov (16-2); UFC 215, July 11.
Ricardo Ramos (14-2) vs. Lerone Murphy (8-0-1); UFC Fight Night, July 15.
Pedro Munhoz (18-4, 1 NC) vs. Frankie Edgar (23-8-1); UFC Fight Night, July 15.
Ketlen Vieira (10-1) vs. Yana Kunitskaya (12-5, 1 NC); UFC Fight Night, Aug. 1.
Derrick Lewis (23-7, 1 NC) vs. Alexey Oleinik (59-13-1); UFC Fight Night, Aug. 8.
Nicco Montano (4-3) vs. Julia Avila (8-1); UFC Fight Night, Aug. 8.
Chris Weidman (14-5) vs. Omari Akhmedov (20-4-1); UFC Fight Night, Aug. 8.
Sure, Dana White’s MMA Mount Rushmore is fine, but it’s a tad UFC-centric. If we’re looking beyond the octagon, let’s go Fedor Emelianenko, Kimbo Slice, Charles Bennett, and Travis Fulton.
Real ones know.
Oh, and Jed Meshew will be back tomorrow.
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