Who is the Real G.O.A.T? Letting The Stats Decide
Generally the debate about who is the G.O.A.T (Greatest Of All Time) is up for much discussion across forums, fan pages, Facebook groups and Twitter. Everyone has an opinion, it’s just one of those things. What makes me wonder is how many of these decisions are based on a liking or a bias for a certain fighter and not actually on what they have accomplished in the Octagon or Ring. I mean everyone has their favourite, be it patriotism, a fighters particular style, or a fighters attitude. All are worthy reasons but it makes it very subjective. What we will do in this article is break down the most commonly named G.O.A.T’s careers and see where each one lies from a statisticians point of view, hopefully you can then make your decision after being a little more informed about each fighter. Here are the rules we are going to use:
The fighters careers I will be breaking down are, Anderson Silva, Georges St Pierre and Fedor Emelianenko. Current Pound for Pound Number One Jon Jones at this point is still well underway in his short career so I feel although he should be mentioned, he is still building his legacy at this point.
I will breakdown the data from each fighters career in their main promotion, ie; UFC for Silva and GSP and PRIDE for Fedor. Fights outside these promotions durng that time will not be counted.
Lets start off with the man they call “The Last Emperor”. Fedor was a beast through the Noughties, he decimated most of the challengers that PRIDE threw at him and those that had slight success against him never managed to overcome him in the end. The Russian stayed strong and through his PRIDE career he remained undefeated. Fedor was well known for his calm and cool appearance eveytime he stepped into the ring, it seemed like nothing ever phased him, even when Kevin Randleman German Suplexed him onto his head (which is probably the most legendary suplex ever in MMA) he still managed to gain top position and submit Randleman literally 30 seconds later. It was truly a thing of beauty and paid testament to Fedor’s heart and resilience. Here are Fedor’s career stats.
14-0-0-1 (15 Fights)
Win Percentage: 93.3%
Longest Win Streak in PRIDE: 8
Title Defences: 4 including a unification with the Interim Belt
Active from 23rd June 2002- 31st December 2006 (4 years 6 months)
Opponents Records at time of fighting Fedor:
No Contest: 2
Win Percentage: 69%
Opponents on a win streak at time of fighting Fedor – ie (3 or more wins in a row)
Semmy Schilt – 3
Big Nog – 13 with 1 No Contest
Naoya Ogawa – 7
Tsuyoshi Kosaka – 3
Mirko Crocop – 7
Zuluzinho – 5 with 1 No Contest
Fedor fought many great fighters during his PRIDE career. Unfortunately not all were in their prime at the time of fighting him. The Two that stand out are “Big Nog” Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira who gave Fedor problems during their Three fights in PRIDE, and Mirko “Cro Cop” Filpovic, who was on an awesome win streak at the time he fought Fedor. Other notables are former UFC Champions Mark Coleman and Kevin Randleman and a relatively green Mark Hunt.
Up next is Anderson Silva, the mesmerising striker who seems to effortlessly dispatch his opponents with beautiful movement and a diverse array of pinpoint strikes. Silva had hype surrounding him when he entered the UFC, coming off of a ridiculous rising back elbow KO of Tony Frykland. I remember back when Silva joined the UFC, I didn’t know much about him at that point so I didn’t buy into the hype and thought that Leben was going to beat him in his first octagon fight. Haha, how wrong was I? Silva was amazing in the fight and made Leben look seriously out of his depth. After doin relatively well in PRIDE, it looked like Silva had found his home and the star that we know as “The Spider” war born.
16-2-0-0 (18 Fights)
Win Percentage: 88.8%
Longest Win Streak in UFC: 16
Title Defences: 10 including a unification of PRIDE Welterweight and Middleweight Belts
Active from 28th June 2006- Last fight was 28th December but he is still active. (7 years 8 months if he never fought again)
Opponents Record at time of fighting Silva:
No Contests: 1
Win Percentage: 79.9%
Opponents on a win streak at time of fighting Silva – ie (3 or more wins in a row)
Chris Leben – 6
Rich Franklin – 8
Travis Lutter – 3
Nate Marquardt – 6
Patrick Cote – 5
Thales Leites – 5
Vitor Belfort – 5
Yushin Okami – 3
Stephan Bonnar – 3
Chris Weidman – 9 in the First fight, which then went up to 10 for the Second fight.
Anderson Silva has had his fair share of notable opponents since joining the UFC. The obvious ones that stand out are Former UFC Middleweight Champion Rich Franklin, Former PRIDE Two weight Champion Dan Henderson, Former Light Heavyweight Champion and UFC 12 Heavyweight tourney winner Vitor Belfort and Silva’s old nemesis and recent retiree Chael Sonnen who almost beat Silva but succumbed to a late triangle that made the “Gangster from West Linn” begrudgingly tap. Beneath those guys he has a slew of other opponents with very very good records, fighters such as Former Light Heavyweight Champ and TUF 1 winner Forrest Griffin, Nate Marquardt, Yushin Okami, Demian Maia and fan favourite Chris Leben who was 15-1 at the time he fought Silva.
Who is the Real G.O.A.T? Letting The Stats Decide Georges St Pierre Georges St Pierre is a fully fledged MMA superstar and possibly one of the most famous sportsmen to come out of Canada. I won’t hide the fact that I’m a big Georges St Pierre fan. I’ve followed his career since I first saw him starch Jay Heiron back at UFC 48 and knew he was something special even in his loss to Matt Hughes. He excells at every aspect of MMA and is always willing and trying to learn. GSP is also the only fighter of our Three possibilites who has avenged all career losses by beating Matt Hughes and Matt Serra , but seeing as though this article is about stats I will let you see for yourself just how good he is. UFC Record 19-2-0-0 (21 Fights) Win Percentage: 90.4% Longest Win Streak in UFC: 12 Title Defences: 9 including a unification of Interim Belt Active from 31st January 2004- 16th November 2013. Currently taking a temporary/permenant hiatus. Opponents Record at time of fighting St Pierre: Wins: 297 Losses: 53 Draws: 3 No Contests: 2 Win Percentage: 83.6% Opponents on a win streak at time of fighting St Pierre – ie (3 or more wins in a row) Karo Parisyan – 4 Jay Heiron – 4 Matt Hughes – 6 Jason Miller – 5 Sean Sherk – 12 Josh Koscheck -3 in the First fight and 5 in the second Jon Fitch – 16 and 1 No Contest Thiago Alves – 7 Dan Hardy – 5 Jake Shields – 15 Carlos Condit – 5 Jonny Hendricks – 6 Notable Wins No doubt GSP has had an illustrious career, taking on greats such as Hall of Famer Matt Hughes Three times, future Hall of Famer and former Champion at Two weights BJ Penn on Two occassions. He has also beaten a host of other well credentialed fighters including current UFC Welterweight Champion Jonny Hendricks, former UFC Interim Welterweight Champion Carlos Condit, former UFC Welterweight Champion Matt Serra, former Strikeforce Welterweight Champion Jake Shields, former UFC Lightweight Champion Sean Sherk and former top ranked stars Jon Fitch, Josh Koscheck and Thiago Alves. I used the word former way too many times then haha. St Pierre’s strength of schedule is hard to deny, esecially when its’s written out in black and white. Conclusion There is no denying the credentials of all Three of the fighters and I can honestly see why us fans always have this debate about these Three in particular. My feeling is based on the stats presented in this article and if I had to choose One fighter (which I sorta do) I would be inclined to go with Georges St Pierre. St Pierre has beaten a murderers row of opponents, his strength of schedule has been the most difficult and he has passed that test time and time again. With 12 of his fights his opponents were on multiple fight win streaks and in the prime of their career and Georges managed to defeat them, he also avenged both of his losses which is something Silva and Fedor cannot brag about.
G.S.P sir, you are the stats G.O.A.T.
Written by Ryan Thomas MMA enthusiast/predictor/gambler and writer
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