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Dana White: Jon Jones, Not Islam Makhachev, Is the Best Pound-for-Pound Fighter

Dana White declares Jon Jones #1 P4P
Dana White

Islam Makhachev's impressive submission victory over Dustin Poirier at UFC 302 marked his 14th consecutive win, yet UFC CEO Dana White remains firm in his stance that Jon Jones is the No. 1 pound-for-pound fighter in the world. Despite Makhachev's dominance, White believes Jones's unparalleled career achievements make him the best.

“I think he’s one of the greatest of all time,” White said of Makhachev at the UFC 302 post-fight press conference. “I think he’s incredible. I don’t think he’s the pound-for-pound best fighter in the world. For anyone to call Islam the pound-for-pound best fighter in the world when Jon Jones is still f*cking fighting is nuts.”

White highlighted Jones's undefeated record and his success across multiple weight classes, including a flawless transition from light heavyweight to heavyweight. Jones’s return from a three-year hiatus culminated in a dominant win over Ciryl Gane to capture the UFC heavyweight title in 2023.

“Jon Jones has never lost a fight, ever. He’s fought all the baddest dudes in the world, and then when you think about what pound-for-pound rankings really mean — he moved up to heavyweight and destroyed the best guy in the world. As long as Jon Jones is still fighting, active, and in the rankings, nobody [else] is pound-for-pound the best fighter in the world.”

Jones's comprehensive victory over Gane in just two minutes is a testament to his dominance. White noted that no other fighter has returned from such a lengthy hiatus and performed at such a high level, not even legends like Muhammad Ali. While Makhachev’s win over Poirier was commendable, White emphasized that his previous title defenses against featherweight Alexander Volkanovski don't measure up to Jones's accomplishments.

“Jon Jones is absolutely, positively the pound-for-pound best fighter in the world and probably the greatest fighter of all time in any sport,” White said.

After hearing White’s comments, Jones expressed his gratitude on Twitter, acknowledging the significance of White’s praise.

“It felt awesome to get that level of recognition from the boss, the man that’s literally been here since UFC 1,” Jones wrote. “I know the haters are not gonna like his comments but Dana’s a pretty hard person to argue with. Dana White has had a front-row seat to my entire career, facts are facts.”


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