UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman has weighed in on who he rates as the greatest MMA fighters of all time.
Usman, who is ranked No. 1 pound-for-pound by USA TODAY Sports/MMA Junkie, the fighter sat down with ESPN and named four fighters who made his cut – one in his weight class.
Usman will continue to try and secure his own legacy by notching his sixth title defense Saturday when he rematches Leon Edwards in the UFC 278 main event at Vivint Arena in Salt Lake City. The main card airs on pay-per-view following prelims on ABC/ESPN and early prelims on ESPN+.
Check out Usman’s list below, which he picked based on skill and technique.
Anderson Silva defended his UFC middleweight title 10 times, second only to Demetrious Johnson for most title defenses in UFC history. “The Spider” thrilled fans with iconic knockouts, and his 16-0 start in the octagon is the best in the promotion’s history. Usman can tie that record if he gets past Edwards at UFC 278.
Aside from a disqualification for an illegal elbow in a fight he was dominating, John Jones has never lost in his career. Jones reigned over the UFC’s light heavyweight division for a decade, but trouble outside the octagon forced him to get stripped of his title multiple times. He defended his title eight times in his first reign and three times in his second before vacating his belt in August 2020. “Bones” is looking to chase further greatness by moving up to heavyweight but is yet to make his divisional debut.
Georges St-Pierre is widely considered the greatest welterweight of all time. Usman is chasing the Canadian Hall of Famer and has already been dubbed as the No. 1 170-pounder of all time by UFC president Dana White.
St-Pierre defended his welterweight title nine times before deciding to retire in 2013. He returned after a four-year absence to dethrone then-middleweight champion Michael Bisping at UFC 217 and join a select few to hold titles in two weight classes.
Perhaps no champion has dealt with more adversity than Dominick Cruz. Enduring an injury-ridden career, Cruz was instrumental in building the bantamweight division. He was forced to vacate his UFC bantamweight belt after just two title defenses due to reoccurring injuries, which forced him out of action for almost three years.
His return in 2014 was flawless when he ran through Takeya Mizugaki at UFC 178. Then, in perhaps his greatest career moment, Cruz returned from another injury to dethrone TJ Dillashaw in 2016, regaining the title he never lost. However, his reign would come to an end at the hands of Cody Garbrandt later that year, and Cruz has seen mixed results ever since.