I propose a specific criteria for GOAT, the number of wins in championship fights, and I applied it before knowing the result (though I am a huge GSP fan):
Jon Jones (14 wins in title fights, LHW)
Georges St-Pierre (13, WW and MW)
Demetrious Jonhson (12, FW)
Anderson Silva (11, MW)
Matt Hughes (9, WW)
Randy Couture (9, LHW et HW)
Nobody from Pride makes the list, the closest are Wanderley Silva (5, MW) and Fedor Emelianenko (4, HW).
So, I guess, with this approach, Jon Jones is the GOAT, especially since he is still an active champion.
If you transpose this approach to team sports, you can consider who was the best player on championship teams. For the NBA, the number of finals MVP awards is a good indicator:
Michael Jordan, 6-time finals MVP.
Magic Johnson, 3
Shaquille O’Neil, 3
Tim Duncan, 3
Lebron James, 3
The finals MVP is awarded since 1969, before that, I think only Bill Russell can challenge Jordan with his 11 championships. But, at the time he was playing, the NBA had only 8 teams. Also, a statistician used a model to retroactively give the award prior to 1969 and Russell wins it 5 times.
For the NFL, we can look at the Superbowl MVP:
Tom Brady, 4-time Superbowl MVP
Joe Montana, 3
Bart Starr, 2
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Terry Bradshaw, 2
Eli Manning, 2
Although I don’t like having only QBs in the list, I can live with Tom Brady as the NFL GOAT.
I think I am the only one here who cares about hockey here but I can tell you that Patrick Roy wins it over Wayne Gretzky with 3 Conn Smythe trophies against 2. Mario Lemieux, Bobby Orr, Sidney Crosby and Bernie Parent also have 2 each.
Well, that was my humble contribution to the GOAT debate.
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