UFC president Dana White started the UFC back in 1993, and since then, many fighter have competed under the promotion’s banner. So when it comes to putting a fighter on a pedestal such big even the promotions president has to pause to consider his options.
During an appearance on The Schmozone Podcast, White was asked who would he put on his MMA Mount Rushmore. The undefined criteria for selection would involve in-cage success, mainstream recognition, and impact on the sport. The first name White took was of Royce Gracie, the massively influential star in the earliest days of the UFC. He went on to name Amanda Nunes and Jon Jones.
“If you’re talking about a Mount Rushmore where the heads are carved in stone forever, you have to go Royce Gracie. No-brainer, have to do that,” White said. He went onto add “Amanda Nunes. Has to be Amanda Nunes, greatest female fighter ever. The other two are tough.”
“I would have to go with Jon Jones. The guy’s never been beaten and what’s more amazing about him going undefeated — which is incredibly amazing because very few people do it in the sport — is the things that he’s done to himself outside of the octagon and he still hasn’t been beaten.”
Whites recent professional disagreements with both Nunes and Jones didn’t stop him from praising both the fighters.
The choice of Amanda Nunes over Ronda Rousey was slightly surprising, taking nothing away from Nunes, she has been the most dominant female fighter in the UFC. She is the first-ever fighter in the UFC to win two different division and defend them at the same time. On the other hand, Rousey established the women’s division in the UFC and was one of the most dominant fighters in the promotion until her downfall.
White went on to say how he has campaigned on multiple occasions to get the only loss in Jones record to be removed. Jones holds a UFC record off 19-1-0-1, with that one loss coming to Matt Hamill due to a dubious disqualification.
“Believe me, I have battled to get that thing overturned and it’s almost impossible to do,” White said. “That’s the problem when you get incompetent people in there. That guy (referee Steve Mazzagatti) is as incompetent as a referee as I’ve ever seen in my life. It was during a very weak period during the Nevada State Athletic Commission, the director was weak and there were other weak people throughout the commission at that time. It’s so hard to get that stuff overturned. It’s just an example of how important it is to have the right people in there. Jon Jones should have a zero [in the loss column] after his name.”
For the last name White choose the former UFC light heavyweight champion, Chuck Liddell. “The Iceman” was a major factor in the rise of promotion during the early 2000s. His feuds with Tito Ortiz and Randy Couture helped the promotion gain major pay-per-view success.
“Number four on the Mount Rushmore, I guess you’d have to go with Chuck Liddell,” White said. “At the point in time, he was as big a star as ever. It’s almost a coin flip between Chuck Liddell and Forrest Griffin and they’re both from the same show, the first season of The Ultimate Fighter. Chuck became a massive star, was the highest-paid guy in the company at the time and all that stuff.”
White also considered the fan-favorite Forrest Griffin but ultimately went on to choose Chuck Liddel.
With his options so limited, White had to leave out some well-known names such as Anderson Silva, George St-Pierre, Conor Mcgregor, Daniel Cormier, and Ronda Rousey.
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