Former two times UFC welterweight champion, former UFC middleweight champion and Hall of Famer, Georges St-Pierre’s career is one of the best there is in the history of mixed martial arts. The Canadian could have a claim at being the greatest fighter of all time. But in a recent interview, GSP said that in his opinion, Royce Gracie is MMA’s GOAT, although he does think that Jon Jones is the best fighter of the modern era.
The GOAT debate is inherent to any type of sporting competition. Whether it’s basketball, football, or Boxing, we always try to find the individual who can be looked at as the best to ever do it. MMA despite being relatively young, is no different and the likes of GSP, Jon Jones, Anderson Silva, or Demitrious Johnson are often cited in these debates.
“The GOAT for me, it has a different significance. For me, it’s Royce Gracie because Royce Gracie is the one who really changed the sport. He changed the entire belief system in what a real fight is. So I think Royce Gracie is there,” said the Canadian.
“Jon Jones is there. I believe that Jon Jones in the modern-day era is the best guy. There’s also Khabib who could be there. There’s a lot of guys.
“But one guy who I would for sure put there is Royce Gracie, there’s no doubt about it. We should never forget about the guys who were there before us. We should never forget about these guys. It’s like Einstein says, we stand on the shoulders of giants. They paved the way for us.”
To GSP, the modern-era fighters are on par with the ones of the older generations. The only difference being the access to the internet, which made it easier for younger fighters to learn and develop new skills.
“Now with the internet, we have access to information that’s much easier than back in the day. Now I can learn an armbar with a guy in Australia teaching it on my cell phone. Before it was not like that. I had to physically be there in a room. I drove to New York and learned jiu-jitsu at Renzo Gracie’s academy. It’s a totally different ball game. I don’t believe fighters are better. I believe technology is better. I mean athletes are not better today than they were before. The technology, knowledge, and access are better. That’s why the fighters are better. It’s not because they are a better person. They’re the same. It’s because they have easier access to knowledge than they had in the past.”