After rating the very best fighters throughout all males’s divisions in MMA historical past, the CBS Sports activities specialists sat all the way down to deal with the troublesome process of rating the 10 greatest fighters in historical past pound-for-pound. It has been a sizzling subject recently with Conor McGregor — who made our record — making claims on Twitter that he’s the game’s best of all-time.

After debating and voting, the highest three fighters have been separated by the slimmest margin doable. However it was Jon Jones who emerged because the CBS Sports activities choose for MMA’s all-time G.O.A.T., whereas McGregor got here in on the No. 9 spot on the record. MMA stays a younger sport, and there are some potential all-time greats energetic within the recreation proper now, which means this record may look vastly totally different in 5 years.

Once more, that is primarily based on resume and total means displayed contained in the Octagon.

The ballots are in, and you may try the rankings in line with votes forged by Brent Brookhouse, Brian Campbell, Brandon Smart and Jack Crosby beneath.

Be certain to take a look at our earlier rankings for bantamweightfeatherweightlight-weightwelterweight, middleweightgentle heavyweight and heavyweight

10. Matt Hughes: The underside spot within the rankings was aggressive with many deserving contenders. Within the final of Hughes’ 9 fights in 2001 (sure, 9 fights in 12 months), he returned to the UFC to knock out Carlos Newton with a slam to win his first UFC welterweight title. Between his two runs as welterweight champ, Hughes had seven profitable title defenses. In his most dominant years, Hughes picked up wins over Newton (twice), Sean Sherk, Georges St-Pierre, B.J. Penn and Matt Serra — all males who at one level held UFC gold. That could be a stellar — and sometimes neglected — resume.

9. Conor McGregor: McGregor has been vocal on social media recently over his standing as MMA’s best of all time. Whereas he did not crack the highest 5 on the CBS Sports activities record, there is no denying he is among the greats. McGregor is a world famous person not solely due to his means and willingness to advertise himself, however as a result of he’s a dynamic, harmful fighter. His march to the featherweight championship was probably the most spectacular stretches in UFC historical past, culminating in a 13-second knockout of Jose Aldo. Including the light-weight title with a knockout of Eddie Alvarez gave him the excellence of being the primary ever fighter to concurrently maintain championships in two weight lessons. If McGregor’s resume has any weak spot in comparison with others on the record, it’s a lack of a championship legacy. Whereas he gained the featherweight and light-weight titles, he made no defenses of both championship. 

8. Daniel Cormier: Cormier adopted the McGregor path of holding two championships concurrently, in his case gentle heavyweight and heavyweight. Cormier has toppled prime fighters in each divisions throughout Strikeforce and UFC, defending the sunshine heavyweight title thrice and the heavyweight belt as soon as. Cormier may by no means really set up himself as the highest gentle heavyweight on the earth, nonetheless, dropping to Jon Jones twice — although one was in the end dominated a no contest after Jones failed a drug take a look at — and his title reign was a product of Jones’ failings greater than something. How Cormier’s heavyweight championship rubber match with Stipe Miocic performs out will go a good distance in figuring out his long-term legacy.

7. Jose Aldo: The Brazilian gained 18 consecutive fights from 2006 to 2014. Throughout that point, he established himself as the best featherweight ever. He gained the WEC featherweight championship with a TKO of Mike Thomas Brown and defended the belt twice earlier than being named UFC champ when the division was absorbed by the promotion. He made one other seven defenses of the title earlier than working into McGregor in 2014. He would go on to lose extra fights within the following years, although solely in opposition to Max Holloway and Alexander Volkanovski — a pair of champions. A drop to the bantamweight division this previous December resulted in a controversial break up resolution loss to Marlon Moraes and now Aldo seems to be getting set to face Petr Yan for the now-vacant bantamweight title. A late-career title win in a brand new division would add a brand new dimension to Aldo’s resume.

6. Khabib Nurmagomedov: Nurmagomedov has been excellent as knowledgeable. With a 28-Zero document and nearly each win a dominant efficiency, it is onerous to seek out a lot to complain about with “The Eagle’s” resume. If there may be any shortcoming it’s a lack of assertion wins. Nurmagomedov’s victories over McGregor, Rafael dos Anjos and Dustin Poirier are all good to borderline nice, however he is nonetheless missing marquee efficiency. That Nurmagomedov gained the vacant belt with a win over Al Iaquinta would not assist his total legacy. Had Nurmagomedov’s deliberate battle with Tony Ferguson not fallen via 5 occasions, he would have a second signature win to place alongside the McGregor thrashing. Maintaining that each one in thoughts, Nurmagomedov has been so dominant, and his legacy nonetheless is growing. He might be a prime 5 all-time fighter by the point he hangs up the gloves.

5. Demetrious Johnson: Since dropping to flyweight, Johnson has rattled off a 16-1-1 document. For a lot of that point, Johnson was thought of the highest pound-for-pound fighter within the sport. After turning into the inaugural UFC flyweight champion, Johnson efficiently defended the title 11 occasions. Whereas combating the very best within the division, Johnson displayed unparalleled creativity within the Octagon. That he was by no means a giant draw made it simple for the UFC to half methods with “Mighty Mouse” after he misplaced a controversial break up resolution to Henry Cejudo. However Johnson has continued to showcase his dominance in ONE Championship, profitable their flyweight grand prix event.

4. Fedor Emelianenko: Throughout PRIDE’s heyday, Emelianenko was an unstoppable pressure at heavyweight. The Russian gained 27 consecutive fights from 2001 to 2009, profitable the PRIDE heavyweight title, dominating a number of the greatest on the earth — together with a tremendous rivalry with Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira and a large win over Mirko Cro Cop. His aura of invincibility was ultimately shattered by Fabricio Werdum in 2010. The PRIDE technique of matchmaking and by no means setting foot within the UFC Octagon has tarnished Emelianenko’s legacy for a lot of, however there must be no denying that his unimaginable run in essentially the most harmful division within the recreation positioned him as among the finest to ever do it within the sport.

3. Georges St-Pierre: GSP is the best welterweight of all time, having gained the UFC welterweight title twice and making 9 profitable title defenses. He solely misplaced to 2 males in his profession, Hughes and Serra, and made clear statements in rematches that he was the higher man. His run noticed him beat a assassin’s row of contenders and present only a few moments of weak spot earlier than retiring on prime of the sport after a brutal — and controversial — win over Johny Hendricks. However, returning to motion after 4 years out of the game to beat Michael Bisping and win the middleweight championship added somewhat one thing additional to his all-time standing.

2. Anderson Silva: A 17-fight profitable streak and 10 profitable title defenses give Silva the type of resume that each man on the prime of this record shares. Silva was a pressure of nature, seemingly taking part in a putting recreation that was gentle years forward of the lads he confronted, irrespective of how gifted the opponent. Silva additionally dipped into the sunshine heavyweight division thrice throughout his peak years, knocking out James Irvin, Forrest Griffin and Stephan Bonnar. Silva additionally did not simply beat males, he destroyed them whereas doing seemingly something he wished from bell-to-bell. The tip of his peak got here onerous and quick, however for years, Silva was the very best fighter on the earth.

1. Jon Jones: Jones has misplaced one battle in his profession — a screwy disqualification to Matt Hamill — however the majority of blemishes in his profession have come from his personal out-of-cage errors. Jones must be on a run of 14 or extra consecutive title defenses, however he has been stripped of titles and had title wins overturned due to authorized issues and failed drug assessments. However within the cage, Jones is as sensible a fighter as the game has ever seen. Past his top-shelf wrestling or his dynamic putting, Jones is able to making in-fight calculations and changes higher than anybody within the sport. His place on the record additionally advantages from not having seen his peak finish within the methods a Silva or Fedor’s late-career losses have coloured issues. However, even when he by no means wins one other battle, Jones has confirmed himself the very best MMA has ever seen.