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MMA legend argues Jon Jones isn’t GOAT ... yet: ‘We start throwing that around too much’

Jon Jones still has some work to do before he wraps up his illustrious mixed martial arts (MMA) career.

The longtime reigning Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Light Heavyweight champion, Jones, became the promotion’s Heavyweight titleholder early last month (March 4, 2023) and solidified himself as the sport’s greatest ever to most. For the former UFC Superfight champion and UFC Hall of Famer, Ken Shamrock, however, “Bones” needs at least one more win to fully stamp himself as MMA’s Michael Jordan.

“Jones is amazing, man,” Shamrock told The Schmo. “The guy’s gone through some ups and downs and had a lot of different issues. He’s been able to go back and kind of re-evaluate his life, put himself back in position for a title shot. He goes out there and he dominates without a shadow of a doubt just took him (Ciryl Gane) out.

“I love it, but I’m in a position now where people want to throw that G.O.A.T. (greatest of all time) name around too easy,” he continued. “I think that Jones has a legitimate opportunity to be the G.O.A.T., but in my opinion, he’s got to fight Stipe Miocic and then [Francis] Ngannou. I think those two, and I don’t even know if Ngannou is possible, but start with Miocic, and if he gets that then that G.O.A.T. word starts to be more real. I just think in the world now in sports we start throwing that G.O.A.T. name around too much, man.”

Jones’ return bout to capture Heavyweight gold saw him submit Gane just over two minutes into their UFC 285 main event (watch highlights). Going into the bout, Jones revealed he had at least two more fights in him, which were likely Gane and a hopeful clash with the former champion, Miocic.

Shamrock acted as a pivotal component for MMA in its early days and his rivalry with Tito Ortiz remains a memorable one in the history books. “The World’s Most Dangerous Man” expects Jones to get the job done in the expected summertime showdown with Miocic, he just wants to slow down on the claims that Jones is already the best to ever do it.

“Jones is one of the best pound-for-pound fighters out there, no doubt,” Shamrock said. “But let’s slow down on the G.O.A.T. thing.

“Jones is in the process of doing it, but let’s make sure he does it,” he concluded. “I think he will, but I think the fight coming up with Stipe Miocic, that’s the one I want to see. That will tell the story.”

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