With undefeated lightweight champion Khabib “The Eagle” Nurmagomedov announcing his retirement following his dominant victory over Justin Gaethje, the “GOAT” debate was instantly ignited, with many fans divided on who tops the mythical list of legends.
In addition to Nurmagomedov, names being thrown into the mix include former welterweight great Georges St-Pierre, middleweight legend Anderson Silva, light heavyweight megastar Jon Jones, heavyweight great Fedor Emelianenko, and current middleweight champion Israel “The Last Stylebender” Adesanya.
While those are all surely very worthy names, Adesanya himself is happy to be in the conversation. However, the 31-year-old Nigerian from New Zealand says it’s actually the United States’ Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson who should be considered the greatest of all time.
Adesanya describes Johnson as a ‘near perfect’ fighter, and was quick to remind fans of the fact in a recent interview on Submission Radio. Adesanya was all praises for Johnson, check out what he had to say here:
“If we want to talk about Ultimate G.O.A.T., did everyone just forget about Demetrious ‘Mighty Mouse’ Johnson? Just the perfect fighter … or near perfect,” said Adesanya.
“If you want to talk about who is the most consistent, if you’re talking about records, the greatest fighter of all time, like forget weight classes, just the perfect fighter or ‘near perfect’, never had one blemish outside the Octagon with steroids or anything like that, never had any real problems inside the Octagon, just a few losses here and there. If you want to talk about GOATs, a guy who is just a phenomenal fighter, someone who you’re watching and you would just be like, ‘How is his brain processing all that at the same time’. The suplex armbar? Just stop all this GOAT talk and jibber-jabbering. And he didn’t even come out and say anything. He’s just been chilling, minding his own business with his wife and kids.”
Johnson tore up the UFC flyweight division, winning the title a record 12 times before succumbing to Henry Cejudo in 2018, in what fans believe was a closely-contested split decision that could have gone either way.
After losing his title, Johnson was then traded to ONE Championship in exchange for welterweight Ben Askren. He’s since won three straight for the Singapore-based martial arts organization, capturing the ONE Flyweight World Grand Prix Championship in the process.
He’s next in line to challenge for the ONE Flyweight World Title, currently held by Brazil’s Adriano Moraes, although that bout has yet to be made official.