At UFC 249, there were two big things to be announced about two of the greatest fighters of all time. First, Georges St-Pierre was announced to be included in the UFC Hall of Fame. The second was the retirement announcement of Henry Cejudo. On today’s episode of MMA Mathematics, we will take both of these guys and plug them into the three we’ve done already.
The original article was a dive into Demetrious Johnson and Anderson Silva. We took the two title reigns and ranked them based off win percentage of opponents and other components of legacy. That article ran on MMASucka.com in 2017. You can read that article here. Then, Jon Jones was added to the conversation which can be reviewed below.MMA Mathematics: Where Does Jon Jones Sit In The GOAT Debate?
So to recap the last two rankings, here is how the three stood:
Anderson Silva: 207-40-4 (82.47%)
Demetrius Johnson: 193-45-1 (80.75%)
Jon Jones: 287-69-2 (80.17%)
Let’s add Henry Cejudo and Georges St-Pierre to this list!
Enter: Henry Cejudo
Now, Henry Cejudo announced his retirement that was quite unexpected. His title reign was not that long and didn’t have that many defenses. But what sets Cejudo apart from Jones, Johnson, and Silva is his multiple belts and the quality of names he beat. Upon capturing the title, he ended the longest lasting title reign in UFC history, Demetrious Johnson’s 11 title wins eclipsed Anderson Silva’s and sparked this whole series.
Cejudo’s opposition looks like this: Demetrious Johnson (27–2-1), TJ Dillashaw (16-3), Marlon Moraes (22-5-1), Dominick Cruz (22-2)
During his title run, Cejudo’s combined opposition record was 87-12-2, an 86.14 win percentage.
In addition to that, Henry Cejudo captured the flyweight and bantamweight titles, something neither Jones, Johnson, or Silva achieved.
Henry Cejudo’s opposition win percentage puts him at the top, but his lack of title defenses hurts him as well. Part of being one of the best champions ever is being a long-reigning one. The quality of wins, however, gains him some ground. Johnson, Dillashaw and Cruz are all the top two in their division ever.
As for Henry Cejudo’s gold medal, we cannot count that positive for an MMA GOAT debate, except for the times he actually used his wrestling to win. But that’s simply how he fights.
Before we rank Cejudo, we will take a look at GSP.
Enter: Georges St-Pierre
Georges St-Pierre is considered by many the greatest MMA fighter of all time. There was never a loss GSP did not avenge. He dominated opponents. He was well-rounded and a prime example of what a martial artist should strive to be both in and out of the cage. Unlike Jon Jones or Anderson Silva, GSP has also never failed a drug test for PEDs either.
Another one of St-Pierre’s list of amazing accomplishments is winning a second belt. He defeated Michael Bisping, capturing the middleweight title in the process.
First thing is first, let’s take a look at GSP’s opposition record: Matt Hughes (41-4) and (45-2), Matt Serra (10-4), John Fitch (19-2), BJ Penn (13-4-1), Thiago Alves (17-5), Dan Hardy (23-6), Josh Koscheck (15-4), Jake Shields (26-4-1), Carlos Condit (28-5), Nick Diaz (28-6), Jonny Hendricks (15-1), Michael Bisping (30-7)
Georges St-Pierre’s opposition record clocks in at 313-54-2, 84.82%.
What we said earlier also counts for GSP as well. The quality of wins is absolutely insane. He has seven wins over fighters who would be or were champions. GSP is also the only man to every win two belts and beat someone who has won two belts, and he did that twice against BJ Penn.
More Calculating Factors
Both Henry Cejudo and Georges St-Pierre opposition win percentage comes in higher than Jon Jones, Demetrious Johnson and Anderson Silva. But the accomplishments are also a deciding factor.
The biggest thing about Cejudo is his lack of title defenses and his loss to Benavidez. While he did win two belts, he never defended his flyweight belt against a top flyweight contender and went on to fight in the bantamweight division. This is very different from GSP not defending his middleweight belt when he retired after the fight. Another thing going against Cejudo is the lack of quality defenses. He won his first belt against Johnson. Then he fought Dillashaw who came down from bantamweight. Then he fought for the vacant and title, which really wasn’t in his control. Last point is he didn’t fight a real contender after winning the belt. Instead of fighting Petr Yan or Aljamain Sterling, Cejudo fought Dominick Cruz who came off of a loss and hadn’t fought in three years.
Georges St-Pierre has nine title defenses and defended an interim belt once as well. GSP didn’t avoid fights. He won eight fights against future, current, or former champions. While GSP did lose the belt once, he avenged that loss with fire and fury against Matt Serra. He ended his career on a 13 fight win streak, which is the deciding factor that puts him over Silva who is losing fights left and right. Another factor is the BJ Penn fights. Being a double champ is huge and both Penn and GSP both have that honor. GSP is the only man to be a double champ and defeat a double champ, although BJ Penn would be one later and wasn’t at the time.
Facing experienced opponents is huge as well. Facing tougher competition is relative due to weight classes. But one method we can tell by is how many fights have the opponents of our fighters in question had. They are ranked as followed:
Georges St-Pierre: 369 total fights, 30.75 avg
Jon Jones: 358 total fights, 25.57 avg
Henry Cejudo: 101 total fights, 25.25 avg
Anderson Silva: 251 total fights, 22.82 avg
Demetrius Johnson: 239 total fights, 19.92 avg
The Verdict Is In
Knowing all that, here is our final verdict on the ranking of all five of these fighters.
#5 Henry Cejudo
Henry Cejudo has a great resume for sure but it lacks depth. Winning a second belt is a legendary moment as well as his high fight average and opponent win percentage. But with a small sample size, it’s not enough to put him over the hump. He had a fantastic career but not a long one.
Henry Cejudo Accomplishments: 86.14 opponent win percentage, 25.25 average opponent experience, 2 division champion, wins over Demetrious Johnson, TJ Dillashaw, Marlon Moraes, and Dominick Cruz, ended career on six fight win streak
#4 Jon Jones
Jon Jones has been an incredibly dominating champion. He’s been around for so long, it seems he is better than he is. But with failed PED tests, it’s hard to put him over anyone but Cejudo. When written out, Jones hasn’t accomplished that much either. Jones is legendary, but he’s not the best of the best.
Jon Jones Accomplishments: 80.17 opponent win percentage, 25.57 average opponent experience, 11 title defenses, 17 fights without a loss, wins over Daniel Cormier, Rashad Evans, Rampage Jackson, Shogun Rua, Stephan Bonnar
#3 Demetrious Jounson
Demetrious Johnson suffers from the same issue Jon Jones has and more the race between the two was close. Johnson has a massive title defense record but nothing really outside of that. His opponents win percentage is slightly higher than Jones’ but his opponents experience is way down. Johnson has the lowest experienced opposition than anyone else on today’s list sitting under 20 fights. This could be attributed to the UFC needing to rush opponents to him with Johnson cleaning out the division so decisively.
Demetrious Johnson’s Accomplishments: Most title defenses in UFC history, 13 fight win streak, ONE Grand Prix champion, win over Henry Cejudo
#2 Anderson Silva
Anderson Silva has a legacy most will remember very positively. He fought very experienced opponents and had an exceptionally high win percentage too. Silva’s knocks are post reign in his bid for the greatest of all time. His 16 fight streak is legendary, but his 1-6-1 stretch he is currently in tarnishes his legacy immensely.
Anderson Silva’s Accomplishments: 82.47 opponent win percentage, 22.82 average opponent experience, 16 fight win streak, 10 title defenses, wins at middleweight and light heavyweight
#1 Georges St-Pierre
Georges St-Pierre is without a doubt the best fighter in MMA history so far. GSP has an 84.82 opponent win percentage, second to only Cejudo who has a small sample size. GSP’s opposition experience is also the highest with the most fights. GSP won the middleweight belt in addition to his hold on the welterweight for so long. His only two losses, Matt Serra and Matt Hughes, we’re both avenged. He is number one by far.
Georges St-Pierre’s Accomplishments: 84.82% opponent win, two belts, 30.75 opponent experience, double champ victory, 13 fight win streak, avenged all losses, wins over Michael Bisping, Jonny Hendricks, Carlos Condit, BJ Penn, Matt Serra, Matt Hughes
Thanks for reading. Special shoutout to The Bajrang Boys for the fun discussion on the topic! Jose Aldo will likely be our next addition to the list!