Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) light heavyweight titleholder Jon Jones has set his sights on becoming the most decorated combatant to ever step foot inside the Octagon.
Even better than former UFC champions Georges St. Pierre and Anderson Silva.
Following his dominant victory over the previously undefeated Daniel Cormier at UFC 182 last Saturday night in Las Vegas, Nevada (highlights here), Jones told the MMA media at the post-fight press conference that he believes he can attain his lofty aspirations of becoming the greatest of all time (G.O.A.T.).
As early as this year.
"My plan is to be the greatest fighter of all time. It's so feasible. It's so attainable. All I have to do is to stay focused, keep believing, and keep working. I do believe 2015 will be the year I solidify it. Anderson is the guy I've been looking up to since I was 18, 19 years old. I've studied his fights, and I really want to model my career after him. Anderson has won so many world titles and you can't discredit what he's done. That being said, with all due respect, I believe I've had the toughest resume in the history of the sport. I've fought so many tremendous athletes. I will put Georges and Anderson above me, and that will keep me honest. It will keep me determined and driven. I'll keep that as my psychology until it can't be argued anymore. 2015 will be my best year."
It is not often you hear an elite athlete speak so frankly on where they stand in the history of their sport, but "Bones" has earned the right to discuss his place among the Mount Olympus of mixed martial arts (MMA).
When discussing the GOAT in MMA, many will still name Silva -- the former longtime middleweight champion -- as the greatest fighter to ever grace the Octagon. And still others will peg former welterweight kingpin Georges St-Pierre as the top dog.
Jones himself regards those two men as the best ever, but he believes his 2015 fight campaign will soon push him past both fighters.
That said, he may have already superseded both Silva and St. Pierre, thanks to his astounding career accomplishments during his dominant reign atop the 205-pound division. "Bones" has a more impressive list of victims, defeating the likes of Daniel Cormier, Glover Teixeira, Alexander Gustafsson, and more.
He has also defeated likely future Hall of Famers in devastating fashion, finishing Lyoto Machida, Vitor Belfort, Rampage Jackson, and Shogun Rua, while also earning a dominant unanimous decision victory over former champion Rashad Evans.
While Silva and St-Pierre have certainly accomplished outstanding feats during their UFC careers, the opposition they have faced does not hold weight when compared with the UFC light heavyweight champion.
The only blemish on Jones' MMA record is a disqualification loss to Matt Hamill back in 2009 in a fight he was well on his way to winning. In comparison, both St-Pierre and Silva have been finished in their careers.
If Jones had not earned the DQ against Hamill, his victory over Cormier last evening would have tied him with Anderson Silva for most consecutive victories in UFC history at 16.
Although Jones may not be ready to crown himself as the GOAT just yet, it is becoming hard to argue otherwise.
For complete UFC 182 results and coverage of all the night's action click here.