Jon Jones frustration at Khabib Nurmagomedov having been awarded the No.1 spot on the UFC’s pound-for-pound rankings has become increasingly apparent over the past few days.
At first Jones had been somewhat civil about the matter after Khabib requested to be put at the top of the list in his post-fight interview following a second round submission win over Justin Gaethje on Saturday night that took his career record to 29-0.
“Until I take that heavily crown, I grant you the spot. 🤙🏾 Enjoy Champ,” Jones wrote on Twitter at the time, before going on to suggest why he believed he was still the sport’s G.O.A.T.
However, Jones hasn’t been able to walk away from the debate since then and instead has become increasingly bitter about the fact that the UFC has granted Khabib’s request in the latest rankings update.
“This is number one bullshit,” Jones wrote after the rankings went live, before going on to talk trash about Nurmagomedov’s accomplishments.
“Unanimous decision over last minute replacement Al Iaquinta to become champion. Conor McGregor is the only opponent he’s ever had that the general public actually knew. Catapulted my man to becoming the best ever, this is hilarious.”
While there is certainly a strong argument to be made that Jones should be at the top of the list given his considerably longer title run and victories over some of the biggest names in the sport, there are some caveats.
Primarily, the fact that Jones has been stripped of the light-heavyweight title on no less than three occasions, including two times after testing positive for banned substances.
It is also worth noting that despite being completely dominant throughout his UFC run, Khabib had to fight for five years before finally being granted a title shot that many people felt was long overdue.
The reality is that if Khabib stays retired and Jones can continue to keep winning then it won’t be long before he’s back at the top of the P4P list, but ‘The Eagle’ deserved his moment in the sun.
Perhaps in hindsight ‘Bones’ will come to realize that he would have been better served taking a leaf out of Georges St-Pierre’s book, who was extremely humble, classy and generous in his praise for Khabib’s accomplishments on Saturday night despite his own achievements placing him strongly in contention for the ‘Greatest Of All Time’ accolade.