If you’re a fan of mixed martial arts, then you’re probably familiar with the ongoing debates about whom the greatest of all time is in the sport.
Recently, Joe Rogan made some controversial statements about Georges St-Pierre and Kamaru Usman’s opponents.
Rogan claimed that due to the advancements in MMA, Usman’s recent opponents are on a higher level than St-Pierre, a two-division champion and one of the sport’s all-time greats. This assertion has stirred up some heated discussions among MMA fans, with many debating whether Rogan’s claims hold any merit.
Whether you agree with Rogan or not, there’s no denying that the GOAT debate in MMA is a popular and entertaining topic of discussion. And with new fighters emerging and old legends still competing, the conversation shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon.
“I just think the level of competition he faced is higher. GSP was so good he raised the bar,” Rogan said on his podcast (via BJPenn.com). “But, you look at GSP’s victories. He beat some very good guys, but I think the guys Kamaru Usman beat — Colby Covington, Jorge Masvidal, Tyron Woodley — I think they are better.”
During a recent episode of “The Joe Rogan Experience,” even Luke Combs, the guest country singer, weighed in on Rogan’s controversial assertion. Combs expressed the importance of discussing and debating the issue. However, when the musician challenged Rogan on whether he truly believed that Jorge Masvidal was better than prime Georges St-Pierre, Rogan doubled down on his peculiar stance.
“Yeah,” Rogan said. “I think if Masvidal was around at that time he would be dangerous for everybody, I think he is on another level. I think everyone is on another level.
“The Masvidal that knocked out Ben Askren, that was one of the craftiest moves that anyone has ever done. He went sideways and ran straight at him and Askren’s instincts kicked in and he kneed him into the dark lands. Just one shot, boom, into the shadow realm. Masvidal, I mean he knocked out Yves Edwards with a f—g head kick back in the day. He is a f—g assassin. Masvidal is a gangster.”
Joe Rogan also sparked controversy with an additional assertion that Jorge Masvidal’s recent opponents are cut from a different cloth than St-Pierre. However, many experts in the sport have disagreed with Rogan’s assessment, calling it “hysterically incorrect” and “recency bias.”
One major point of contention is that Masvidal was alive and competing during St-Pierre’s prime, making it impossible to compare them as being “better” or “on another level.” Moreover, while Masvidal is a skilled and entertaining fighter, his career record does not match up to St-Pierre’s impressive list of victories, including eight UFC title fights.
Another factor to consider is that St-Pierre and Masvidal’s careers overlapped for several years, during which time St-Pierre was building his legacy with victories over top opponents, while Masvidal was suffering losses to fighters like Gilbert Melendez and Rustam Khabilov.
While Masvidal’s five-second knockout victory has drawn attention to his skills, it’s important to note that his opponent, Ben Askren, is not representative of the modern MMA fighter. Askren’s wrestling prowess is impressive, but his lack of striking ability is more typical of the MMA era prior to St-Pierre’s dominance.