Any avid sports fan will admit that they have had the ‘Greatest of All Time’ argument many a times. Whether it is the NBA, NFL, MLB, Tennis, Soccer, MMA, or any other sport, people will argue about who the greatest player or players of all time are.
With all the hoopla surrounding Lebron James’ NBA ‘Mount Rushmore’ discussion earlier this week and in honor of President’s day, I have decided to compile my own MMA Mount Rushmore.
In MMA, it is a common topic to discuss the all time greatest fighters to ever compete. One major difference between MMA and other sports is the idea of ‘pound for pound’ greatest. Since there are a plethora of incredible fighters at all different weight classes that could not fight each other, the pound for pound list was made to discuss who is the greatest regardless of weight class.
Without further ado: Here is my MMA Mount Rushmore in no specific order:
1. Randy Couture
‘The Natural’ is a UFC hall of famer and was the UFC’s first ever two division champion. Making his debut at UFC 13, Couture racked up four straight victories including a majority decision over Maurice Smith at UFC Japan that won him the UFC Heavyweight title. Couture vacated that title, and three years later returned to defeat Kevin Randleman to win the Heavyweight title once again.
He won the UFC Interim Light Heavyweight title at UFC 43 by upsetting Chuck Liddell by TKO in the third. He then upset Tito Ortiz at UFC 44 to unify the belts.
In all, Couture was a three time UFC Heavyweight champion, and two time Light Heavyweight champion not including his interim title. There is no Mount Rushmore without Randy Couture.
2. Fedor Emelianenko
To many, Fedor is considered to be the greatest of all time. The PRIDE Heavyweight champion had a 27 fight winning streak at one point in his career. He has defeated all of the big names in the history of MMA’s Heavyweight division. He defeated Antônio Rodrigo Nogueira, Mark Coleman, Heath Herring, Kevin Randleman, Mirko Cro Cop, Mark Hunt, Tim Sylvia, Pedro Rizzo, Andrei Arlovski, and many more legends.
Fedor is undoubtedly the greatest Heavyweight fighter of all time and has secured his spot on MMA’s Mount Rushmore.
3. Anderson Silva
‘The Spider’ is the greatest UFC champion we have ever witnessed. There is no argument to be had here whatsoever. Silva’s entire UFC career was marked by his penchant for breaking records as well as breaking his opponents. Silva holds the record for the most consecutive and successful title defenses with 10, the most finishes in UFC title fights with 9, most finishes in the UFC with 14, most consecutive wins in the UFC with 16, the knockdowns landed in UFC history with 17. He also holds a tie with Joe Lauzon for the most post fight bonuses in UFC history with 12, and a tie with Georges St-Pierre for most wins in UFC title fights with 11.
Silva’s career is unheralded, and regardless of if he returns to the Octagon will forever be remembered as the greatest UFC champion in the promotion’s history.
4. Georges St-Pierre
Coming in a close second to the greatest champion in UFC history is Georges St-Pierre. GSP is undoubtedly the greatest Welterweight champion to ever compete in MMA. That is quite the accolade when you consider Matt Hughes was an incredible Welterweight champion and UFC hall of famer.
Georges St-Pierre will be remembered for his complete dominance during his reign over the UFC’s Welterweight division over the last 7 years. Not only was he an incredible fighter, he is also one of the UFC’s biggest draws in the promotion’s history. GSP was the two time Welterweight champion, and also won an interim Welterweight title as well.
GSP has the most wins in UFC history with 19. He has the second most consecutive title defenses in the UFC history with 9. He also has the most consecutive title defenses in the UFC Welterweight division with 9.
Do you agree with my MMA Mount Rushmore? Did I leave someone out that you would have put on? Let me know your MMA Mount Rushmore in the comments below or on Twitter @SchlinskMMA