- Michael Bisping hailed Jon Jones as the No. 1 pound-for-pound fighter regardless of what the official UFC rankings show
- “The Count” thinks “Bones” is probably MMA’s greatest of all time
Michael Bisping weighed in on the controversial UFC pound-for-pound rankings. For “The Count,” Alexander Volkanovski is still the better pound-for-pound fighter despite losing to Islam Makhachev. However, neither of them is the true No. 1 pound-for-pound because that title belongs to Jon Jones.
Speaking on his YouTube channel, Bisping pointed out that it’s only right that the UFC factored in the fact that it was Volkanovski who moved up and Makhachev was the naturally heavier fighter. Hence, the Brit thinks it justifies the promotion’s decision to keep Volk as the No. 1 pound-for-pound fighter.
On the other hand, Bisping said that while that’s what the official rankings say, the real pound-for-pound king is still Jones, bar none.
“I understand it because he is the smaller guy, he went up to Islam’s weight class to 155. Islam could not come down to 145. He couldn’t do that then if he did do that, he would not perform, there was just no way and maybe even if he came down to 150 they had a catchweight fight, he probably wouldn’t perform… Alexander Volkanovski is still, against Islam, probably pound for pound a better fighter. What do you think to that is that controversial? Am I going to get flamed? Am I going to get all of his fans coming after me? More than likely. But guess what?… I don’t think Alexander Volkanowski is the pound for pound number one on the planet. That title belongs to a man that returns next week… And yes of course, I’m talking about Johnny Bones Jones.”
To back his claim, Bisping added that the level of Jones’ competition was the highest during his time as the light heavyweight champion. And even when he wasn’t laser-focused on his career, “Bones” still got the job done.
“He’s been out of action for a while, three years away from the Octagon, we know this okay, but that’s the guy, that’s the guy who’s run rough shot over the light heavyweight division for years, for generations, taking out champion after champion right? Generations of champions and contenders, it is unbelievable what he did and it’s even more unbelievable when you remember the fact that a lot of the time apparently he wasn’t even training when he fought Alexander Gustafson the first time and had that incredible performance. Apparently, he was up to doing what Jon Jones likes to do you know, hanging out, partying, out having a good bloody time you know, strip clubs, cocaine, all the rest of it, apparently I don’t know, I wasn’t there. These are the rumors, but still that’s what we hear okay, and he still out there and beat it,” he pointed out.
Bisping added, “They’re all good. Whether you’re pound for pound number one, two or three, it doesn’t matter. There’s not an insult. It’s a subjective thing, it is an opinion and we’re all entitled to them. However, Jon Jones when you look at what he’s done, when you look at the people he’s beating, when you look at the way that he’s beat them – at their own game a lot of the time, we can’t deny the man.”
We’re probably looking at the GOAT
Jones was the UFC’s former pound-for-pound king with a staggering 13 title defenses to his name. Bisping cannot guarantee how things will play out for Jones in the heavyweight division, but thus far, “The Count” wouldn’t disagree if some people say “Bones” is MMA’s “GOAT.”
“On top of that, we’re not only talking the pound for pound number one… we’re also talking about probably the ‘GOAT,’ the greatest of all time,” he concluded.
The pound-for-pound rankings is still a hot subject of discussion after the UFC refused to make Makhachev the new No. 1 fighter after his UFC 284 victory over Volkanovski. Makhachev said he doesn’t expect fairness in the rankings as there has been bias against Russian fighters in the UFC.
For the Dagestani fighter, he became the “best fighter in the world” when he beat Volk and not one bit will change even if Jones beat Gane to become the new heavyweight champ.
As for Jones, he will be making his long-awaited return and heavyweight debut at UFC 285 in a title fight against Ciryl Gane.