Daniel Cormier: Why Jon Jones is out of the GOAT conversation

Former UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones was not impressed when Khabib Nurmagomedov surpassed him on the UFC’s Pound For Pound list. However, during a recent interview with Damon Martin for MMA Fighting, former champ champ Daniel Cormier argued that given Jones’ failed drug tests, he is definitively out of the GOAT conversation.

“One of the most talented guys you’ll ever meet but again for me bad tests eliminate you from the conversation,” said Cormier. “I just cannot understand how that is so hard to comprehend in a sport where we’re fighting each other. In baseball, bad tests eliminate you from being considered and being in the Hall of Fame and you’re hitting a ball. You’re hitting an object that has no feeling. In fighting, you’re punching people, human beings, and you have bad tests that eliminates you. It’s just too dangerous.

“So I think when you start to think about the greatest of all time for all the things and all the great victories, you can’t look at those, me personally being a guy that those fights did really long term damage to my career, it’s hard for me to say [Jones] is the greatest of all time when every time we fought, there was some sort of issue. That for me, it just kind of changes the conversation.”

“You hit a baseball, the baseball has no feeling,” Cormier said. “You’re hitting it with a bat and look how they treat Barry Bonds and Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa. Look at how they treat those guys in that sport. You know what’s crazy about that, too? In baseball they treat Barry Bonds and them like that and it wasn’t even illegal. There was no rule that said those guys couldn’t take steroids and look at how they treat them. Look at how they treat them.

“Jones was having bad tests while we had USADA and people still want to place him at the top of the all time greatest list. That’s crazy. It wasn’t even illegal in baseball in the late 90’s and those guys are hitting homeruns freaking 50 yards longer than they ever have. It’s just a different sport obviously, but it just seems like the possibilities of damage are just so much more severe in mixed martial arts. For anyone, even Anderson [Silva]. Anderson was the man. Bad tests, I don’t care if it’s for viagra, it does not matter. It’s a bad test. Bad tests in a combat sport where you’re punching people, just not right. It eliminates you.”

“It sucks, too, cause they’re so immensely talented. So talented that I don’t think any of those guys ever needed to do anything wrong and would have been clean. Like Khabib’s clean. Nobody has heard or suggested or thought that he’s done anything negatively outside of missing weight when he was on his way up. Those are the things that he is going to have to deal with in terms of negatively. Demetrious Johnson is actually completely clean. No missed weights, no failed tests, he’s just clean.

“Those are the types of guys you look at and say ‘that guy’s the greatest fighter of all-time.’”

Jones successfully defended his title for the eighth time, beating Daniel Cormier via Unanimous Decision at UFC 182 on January 3, 2015. On April 28, he was stripped of his title for violating the UFC’s Athlete Code of Conduct policy; he’d gotten in a car accident, hitting a pregnant woman and breaking her arm, before fleeing on foot.

He returned from that suspension to beat Ovince Saint Preux via Unanimous Decision for the interim belt at UFC 197 on April 23, 2016. He was later stripped of that title and suspended after testing positive for clomiphene and letrozole. The source of the failed anti-doping test was determined to be a tainted, bootleg, erectile dysfunction pill.

Jones returned from the new suspension and again defeated Cormier, via KO at UFC 214 on July 29, 2017, only to see the bout changed to a No Contest and the title stripped after he tested positive for infinitesimally small quantities of metabolites for turinabol, which pulsed on and off for an extended period. The source of those was never determined.

For the record, DC’s GOAT list is Nurmagomedov, Georges St-Pierre, and B.J. Penn. So what’s your vote hardcore MMA fanbase on the UG? Is Jones disqualified from the GOAT conversation? Or not?

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