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Morning Report: Nate Diaz dismisses Jon Jones in GOAT conversation: ‘That whole legacy is gone and done with’

UFC 247 Jones v Reyes: Weigh-Ins Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Nate Diaz doesn’t see any place in the all-time great discussion for Jon Jones.

The UFC’s former light heavyweight dominator has arguably been his own worst enemy throughout his illustrious career. In the cage, Jones’ only blemish on an otherwise perfect 26-1 (1 no contest) record came as a result of him illegally elbowing his opponent, Matt Hamill, in his fourth UFC appearance. Later down the line, issues aplenty followed him like a moth to a flame.

Jones’ legal troubles are well documented, whether it be a history of DUIs or the infamous hit-and-run incident that led to him being stripped of his UFC title in 2015. Along with the party-like antics, “Bones” has been linked to multiple occasions involving performance-enhancing drugs which also led to a title reversal in 2017.

For someone like Diaz who has been around the fight game for the better part of the last two decades, he has never been afraid to call things out for how they are.

“The OGs ... Anderson [Silva], ‘GSP’ (Georges St-Pierre), Fedor [Emelianenko] ... Who? Jon [Jones]? Out of the question,” Diaz told ESPN regarding the greatest of all time discussion. “I don’t care. Silva, too. Like, I mean, with all due respect to them because they are great, but if you do steroids that’s just completely — if you’re caught, you’re a f****** ... you know what I’m saying?

“If you’re doing it out loud, that’s different. They were all shooting steroids then whoop everybody’s ass. It’s like, well, I’m willing to fight [expletive] on steroids. I don’t give a f***. But if you’re doing it [and hiding it], like let’s just all talk about it. You do steroids, I’ll smoke weed then let’s get in there and squab. I don’t give a f***.”

Despite all the issues that have surrounded Jones in recent years, he managed to stay roughly as active as Diaz. However, that changed in 2020 when he voluntarily vacated the UFC light heavyweight strap with continued hopes of eventually debuting in the heavyweight division. Meanwhile, Diaz last fought as recently as UFC 263 in June 2021 and has his next bout rapidly approaching.

UFC 279 this weekend will mark the end of Diaz’s run in the promotion as he finishes out the last fight on his contract. Standing in the Stockton, Calif. native’s way will be surging undefeated superstar Khamzat Chimaev. After all this time, Diaz still believes he belongs in these conversations with those breathing rarified air and has another chance to try and prove it.

“But you sneak steroids in and you’re considered? Out of the question,” Diaz said. “That whole legacy is gone and done with. All these guys you consider the GOATs, if you guys are all the GOATs ... I don’t give a f*** because I know arguably I’m in there too with a big portion of people out there in the world. But the way the UFC makes it, it’s all by numbers and s***. You’re not even involved, it’s like yeah, right. [Look at] my 15 years.”


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MMA Fighting’s Damon Martin chats with Nick Young.

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Nate’s ability to find a way to make an argument for himself in these types of talks is pretty impressive. I will say I can’t disagree with him on the Jones notion though. I’ve always felt you should either make two lists if you want to factor in fighters with asterisks next to their names: one that includes them and one that doesn’t.

Happy hump day! Thanks for reading.



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