Who is the greatest mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter of all time?
That’s always going to be a topic for debate among Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) fans, but I think we can all agree that reigning 205-pound kingpin Jon Jones, along with former middleweight champion Anderson Silva, are certainly in the conversation.
Assuming that conversation includes an asterisk.
That’s according to ex-middleweight titleholder Chris Weidman, who scored back-to-back wins over “The Spider” and recently set his sights on breaking “Bones,” which would require a win over Dominick Reyes this Friday in Boston.
“If you look at his record and who he’s beat and how he’s done it, yeah, he’s the G.O.A.T.,” Weidman said of Jones. “But then you put the drug-testing stuff out there ... at the end of the day he’s failed multiple drug tests. I think any time you do that, it puts asterisks on your whole career. You have to say that.”
Jones failed at UFC 200, then again at UFC 214, before the picogram fiasco became part of the cage-fighting landscape. As for Silva, he popped in the wake of UFC 183 and then again ahead of UFC Fight Night 122 (blame his lawyers).
“It’s the same thing with Anderson Silva, he’s failed drug tests too, for performance enhancers,” Weidman continued. “I think you have to put a question on the rest of their careers, just like baseball, but this is a way more devastating sport. We’re not just hitting balls over a fence, we’re trying to take each other out. Any time a guy fails a drug test, that’s a serious thing.”
Weidman has the opportunity to shock the world for the second time in his career and notch wins over both Jones and Silva, one of the main reasons he abandoned his 185-pound post and defected to light heavyweight.
Something tells me “The Devastator” will have a few words to say about that.