Is Conor McGregor the New GOAT? Has He Replaced Anderson Silva?
Is Conor McGregor the New GOAT? Has He Replaced Anderson Silva?
Is Conor McGregor the Greatest of All-Time? After this historic MMA weekend in New York City, the argument can be made that McGregor is the GOAT. Saturday night’s second round knockout added to the Irishmen’s legacy for his conquest of being the greatest of all-time.
Snagging a second UFC title in two different divisions at the same time is unprecedented. No one in the history of the UFC has claimed two belts at once. BJ Penn came close while holding the UFC lightweight belt, he had an unsuccessful title challenge against welterweight champion, George St. Pierre.
Nov 12, 2016; New York, NY, USA; Conor McGregor (blue gloves) celebrates with his two championship belts after defeating Eddie Alvarez (red gloves) in their lightweight title bout during UFC 205 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports
At 9-1 in the UFC (throughout three weight classes), the two-belt champion has created a following, unlike any other fighter in the sport. McGregor posts a higher winning percentage than Anderson Silva (.805), posting a (.875) winning percentage. George St. Pierre may have a (.926) winning percentage, but all of his victories are at the 170-pound weight class. If it wasn’t for McGregor’s only loss in his last ten bouts, which happened against Nate Diaz at 170-pounds, two weight classes above his fighting weight, the Irishmen would be just below the Canadian, St. Pierre, with a winning percentage over nine hundred.
The Dublin, Ireland native, has stepped inside the cage against some of the toughest opponents. McGregor has victories over Max Holloway, who is currently a contender for the featherweight title; Dustin Poirier, Dennis Siver, Chad Mendes, Jose Aldo (former featherweight champion), Nate Diaz (a top-5 lightweight), and Eddie Alvarez (former lightweight champion).
The two-weight class champion has TKO Victories in seven out of the nine UFC victories. Holloway is the only UFC featherweight to bring McGregor into deep waters. McGregor earned a three-round unanimous decision over Holloway. Nate Diaz also brought the double-champ into the championship rounds when they fought for the second time at welterweight (170-pounds), where McGregor won a five-round majority decision.
At 21-3 overall in his mixed martial arts career, McGregor has 19 finishes out of his 21 victories. Out of the 19 finishes, 18 of them are via TKO (Punch, Punches, Elbows), and one finish is via submission, due to Rear-naked Choke. He also has three victories at sixteen seconds or less. He defeated Mike Wood at Cage Contender 8 at sixteen seconds of the first round. In his next bout, the double-champion put Paddy Doherty to sleep in only four seconds with a single punch at Immortal Fighting Championships 4. McGregor’s most famous knockout punch probably comes against Jose Aldo at UFC 194, when he rocked the longtime UFC featherweight champion in only thirteen seconds.
The numbers for the new lightweight champion continue to stack up. He has 14 first round finishes and six second-round finishes. His ability to finish fighters continues to shock haters and impress fans.
At 28-years-old, McGregor is 13-years younger than Anderson Silva, whom many believe is the Greatest Of ALL-Time. Silva is 33-8 overall in MMA, with one No Contest. The former middleweight champion also found success fighting at two weight classes(185 & 205). Silva has 18 fights more than the Irish champion. Out of Silva’s 33 victories, 18 of them are first round finishes, six are second-rounds finishes and two are third-round or later finishes.
Silva has 26 finishes in his MMA career, 20 via (T)KO and six come by the way of submission. McGregor is only seven behind Silva in finishes, while also having 18 fights less than the former middleweight champion.
A huge difference between the two fighters that will always be an asterisk next to Anderson Silva’s name for many fans and analysts, is the fact the Silva has been suspended for performance enhancing drugs (PED’s). McGregor hasn’t ever tested positive for any PED’s.
The loudmouth Irishman does hold double-belts in the UFC, an accomplishment that has never been obtained in the sport. It is almost comparable to Archie Griffin’s achievement of being the only player winning two Heisman Trophies in NCAA Football.
Everyone’s question now is who will the double-champ battle next inside the octagon, or will the fence turn to ropes for a boxing match?
Many want to see McGregor battle undefeated Russian, Khabib Nurmagomedov, who clearly has the next title shot at lightweight after his destruction of Michael Johnson at UFC 205. The reality of McGregor fighting at welterweight again or for a title is very unlikely.
My guess is his next bout will be against the No. 1 lightweight contender, Nurmagomedov. It wouldn’t be a tough weight cut for the champion, and he may feel like he has the ability in his hands to finish the bout before the Russian uses his incomparable wrestling skills.
Though, if the money is right, and the conditions to set up one of the potentially largest pay-per-views in history, McGregor would dive in and battle Mayweather between the ropes.
McGregor also joined a couple of individuals for a rare statistic, as one of three UFC fighters to have a win in three different weight classes.
1- Vitor Belfort, has won at middleweight, light heavyweight, and heavyweight.
2- Diego Sanchez, has a win at lightweight, welterweight, and middleweight.
3- Conor McGregor, Has wins at featherweight, lightweight, and welterweight.
He has also climbed to No. 2 ranked pound-for-pound fighter in the UFC. Should he be No. 1 ranked PFP after claimbing his second title and being one of three UFC fighters to have a victory in three divisions?
Is he the GOAT??
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Kyle Carroll is a Long Island, N.Y. native and avid MMA and amateur wrestling fan. He has been a part of the wrestling community for nearly 20 years. Carroll has six years of experience coaching high school wrestling. His father is currently a high school wrestling coach on Long Island, with more than 35 years of experience. Carroll has been reporting MMA news since January 2011. The former wrestler’s coverage has included the 2012 U.S. Olympic Wrestling Team Trials, the 2013 NCAA D1 Wrestling Championship, and numerous MMA events (King of the Cage, North American Fighting Championship, and Glory).