Las Vegas, NV — UFC President Dana White believes the GOAT debate has been settled following UFC 285.
He also wonders how much bigger of a star Jon Jones could have been had personal problems not derailed him.
“Anybody deny this guy’s the GOAT anymore? I don’t think anybody would deny it,” White told media outlets including Cageside Press following Saturday’s card at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. “Not only is he the greatest light heavyweight ever, he looks like the greatest heavyweight ever.”
“There were a couple interviews leading up to this fight where he was saying ‘I’m going to make this look easy,’ and I thought that was a silly thing to say. The guy’s un-f*cking believable. He really is.”
Jones made quick work of French heavyweight Ciryl Gane, picking up a submission win inside of a round. Gane looked dazed and confused after a guillotine choke seemingly caught him by surprise.
White sees Jones, who had multiple reigns as the UFC’s light heavyweight champion, as a special athlete, but one that has been difficult to deal with at times.
“There’s no doubt Jon Jones is special. He’s the greatest of all time, he’s undefeated, he’s never lost a fight ever in the UFC. He’s fought all the best competition out there,” said White, glossing over Jones’ DQ loss to Matt Hamill. “But dealing with him is like dealing with an artist, is the best way to explain it. I don’t know what’s going to happen from here on out. I’m just happy that we got to see what we saw tonight.”
After three years away, White also marvelled over Jones’ lack of rust. “I’m a big believer in ring rust, and what it does— we didn’t even get to see any ring rust. Who knows if there was any ring rust tonight. He just went in there and literally made it look like nothing, like it was the easiest thing in the world for him to do. He’s a total freak of nature, and he’s the best ever.”
The best ever could have been a bigger star, however. White reflected on the stories he’d heard of Jones partying rather than training. And, of course, there were the drug test failures and multiple run-ins with the law.
“Through all the things that me and Jones have been through in both of our careers here, the question is, how big would he be right now of a star?” questioned White, noting that Jones already had the biggest heavyweight fight of all time, one of the top grossing fights, and that UFC 285 had blown up on social media. “The question is, this guy should be in Nike commercials. Those are the things when you talk about how big and how great Jon Jones could have been, had he not had the personal problems, those are the questions that we’ll never know.”
What White does know is who will be next for Jon Jones. “I don’t know when, but he’s definitely fighting Stipe [Miocic].”
Watch the full UFC 285 post-fight press conference with Dana White above.