DANA WHITE believes there is “no debate” in Jon Jones being the greatest UFC fighter in history.
A row over the honour broke out on the weekend when Conor McGregor insisted he is No2 in the list, behind Brazilian middleweight icon Anderson Silva.
That was met with staunch opposition, not least from the two most recent men to have downed the Irishman in the Octagon; Khabib Nurmagomedov and Nate Diaz.
Jones stated that he will “let the fans” make his case for him – before reminding his rivals that he has the most title fights win in franchise history with a 14-0 record.
According to UFC chief White, the 32-year-old is unparallelled having claimed his records with plenty of added difficulty.
He told ESPN: “There’s no debate, Jon Jones is the GOAT.
“If you look at what the guy has accomplished – and what he was doing while he accomplished those things.
“It’s not like the guy was being good to himself. And what’s even crazier about the Jon Jones story is to imagine what he could have accomplished, had he been doing the right thing the whole time.
“Imagine what he could have been. I’m saying that, and he’s never lost a fight!
“People say he got beat but the three people that matter said he didn’t.
“You can hate our judging, I know I do sometimes, but the three people that sit ringside say that Jon Jones has never lost a fight.”
The only blemish on Jones’ record is the disqualification handed to him against Matt Hamill in 2009, a verdict White has always disputed.
However the backdrop to his career of light heavyweight supremacy has contained doping violations and run-ins with the law.
Some fans believe the likes of Silva and Georges St-Pierre are the best fighters to challenge for the honour of being UFC’s pound-for-pound GOAT.
Canadian Hall of Famer GSP won titles at two divisions, like McGregor, and retired with a 26-2 record – winning every fight in the last decade of his career.
At 45, Silva has experienced a natural decline in his abilities while continuing to battle as one of MMA’s most esteemed veterans.
But the middleweight’s 16-fight win streak at the peak of his powers still stands today as the longest run in UFC history.
McGregor, meanwhile, recently made his claim to the podium thanks to his “array of finishes, across three divisions, with champion status in two” – adding: “I’m No2, if not tied No1.”