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Jones or Makhachev? Who should really be the number one P4P in the UFC?

Date: July 15, 2024 Time: 17:33:16

Last weekend, Islam Makhachev made his third defense of the UFC lightweight champion title, effectively finishing off a choke in a fight with Dustin Poirier. Along the way, the Russian champion updated several promotion records and secured his status as number one in the pound-for-pound rankings.

It is true that Dana White did not agree with this: “Yes, Islam is one of the greatest in history. But anyone who calls Makhachev the best P4P, as long as there is an active Jon Jones… He is here, he has not lost, how can you say that someone else is the best? As long as Jones performs, no one can claim that title. Jon Jones is absolutely number one in the world. Perhaps this is, in general, the best fighter of all time in all sports at once. If you’re wondering who the toughest fighter in the world is, lock these two in a room and see which one comes out alive. And Jon Jones is the one who always leaves that room. And there can be no questions here.”

Dana Blanco

Photo: Carmen Mandato/Getty Images

Dana later expanded on the topic, while criticizing Makhachev for his close fight with Alex Volkanovski: “The fact that Jon Jones is ranked second on the list of the best fighters, regardless of weight, just shows that the media I don’t understand a damn thing about this. They just don’t understand this sport. When talking about what the pound-for-pound ranking really means, keep in mind that Volkanovski rose to the top and had a very close fight with Islam. With that, Jon Jones rose to the top and completely destroyed the strongest heavyweight of the moment. If Cyril Gun hadn’t tried the damn kneebar, he would have beaten Francis Ngannou to become heavyweight champion, and Jon Jones would have plowed through him like it was nothing. “Jon Jones is without a doubt the best pound-for-pound fighter.”

An extremely controversial topic, because everyone gives a different meaning to the concept of “pound for pound number one.” Makhachev himself did not attach much importance to this and simply noted that everyone has his own opinion about him. But some fighters defended Islam.

Alex Volkanovski, who lost twice to the Russian, considers him the best fighter in the world: “They say that Jones is the best fighter on the planet. But to be a king, regardless of the weight category, you need to be an active fighter, you need to perform. Islam fought with several great fighters and won. And that’s why you have to respect it. I think Makhachev is the best.”

Even Sean O’Malley, whom Dana White loves, took Makhachev’s side: “Dana White refused to put Makhachev at the top of the P4P rankings, are you serious? Islam should come first, who else? Did Dana say Jon Jones is the number one P4P right now in 2024? No, this is Islam.”

Islam Makhachev

Photo: Luke Hales/Getty Images

To understand exactly who is the best fighter in the world, we must first determine what we understand by this concept. If we take past merits into account, then yes, no one will be able to compete with Jones as long as he remains an active fighter. He is undoubtedly one of the greatest fighters in MMA history, so his achievements are undeniable.

The problem is that the ranking must take into account current achievements. It’s been over three years since Jones announced his move to heavyweight, and since then he’s had a feud with Gun and many social media feuds regarding Tom Aspinall. At the same time, Makhachev entered the third longest winning streak in the UFC, managing to win the title and defend it three times. Additionally, he defeated the strongest lightweight at the time, Charles Oliveira, number one pound-for-pound ranked Volkanovski, and Dustin Poirier, who is simply one of the best fighters in the division in history. This can’t compare to Jones and his only fight.

Who will be Makhachev’s next opponent?

Rematch with Tsarukyan or fight for the double champion title. Who should Makhachev fight next?

Currently, Makhachev is the world’s number one among active fighters. If Jones were more active, he could really take first place from Islam, but so far this is not happening. Many people like to blame Makhachev for not being the most active fighter, but at the same time he conceded four title fights in a year and a half. An absolutely normal frequency with two fights a year, so these complaints are also meaningless.

Islam deservedly occupies its place among the elite. It’s not the best ever, but it’s definitely the best in the world today.

* This website provides news content gathered from various internet sources. It is crucial to understand that we are not responsible for the accuracy, completeness, or reliability of the information presented Read More

Puck Henry
Puck Henry
Puck Henry is an editor for ePrimefeed covering all types of news.
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