Former UFC flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson has urged long-time light-heavyweight king turned potential heavyweight contender Jon Jones and others to let the public decide who is the greatest MMA fighter ever.

Jones has taken to social media on several occasions to defend his position as GOAT. ‘Bones’ has even got into a public spat with his long-time rival Daniel Cormier who opted to leave his two-time opponent out of the GOAT conversation due to the various issues Jones has had with performance enhancing drugs.

Speaking to LowKickMMA, Johnson insisted the GOAT debate is something fighters should avoid getting involved in, he said.

“That GOAT discussion is all about the public. The only person that I’ve actually seen who kinda fights for that spot or argues about it is Jon Jones. You know, Khabib (Nurmagomedov) mentioned he wanted to be there. At any given time, I have never asked to be in that position, people put me in that position, right? That’s when I think it’s more important, when people put you there. You can’t walk in and be like, ‘I’m the greatest of all time’ in this sport of Mixed Martial Arts – you can’t just do that. You have to let the community decide.”

‘Mighty Mouse’ went on to recognize his own achievements that have him placed among the best ever but he insists he would never take offense to someone opting against calling him the GOAT.

“Obviously, my merits that I’ve done,” Johnson said. “My 11 consecutive title defences, the submissions I’ve done, the different styles I fight, granted I could sit there and argue with people but I ain’t got time to argue. If you think I’m the greatest of all-time thanks. If not, I’m not gonna shed one tear about it.”

Johnson is content in the fact he is discussed among the best and will happily tell his children that he was one of the greatest when they begin to ask questions about his career.

“My kids, when they get older if they’re like ‘well Dad how good were you?’ ‘Well, I was one of the greatest to ever do it.’ And then they’ll be like ‘well who else was great?’ And I’d be like well Jon Jones, GSP, I could rattle off a list – Khabib Nurmagomedov. I could just rattle off a list, we were all great. We all shined in different aspects of Mixed Martial Arts but I can’t sit here and pinpoint. If I was to sit here and pinpoint, I’d be like Jon Jones. And then you’ll get ‘well Jon Jones had all this sh*t’ and I’m like ‘well that’s your opinion and everyone is entitled to their own opinion.”

Do you agree with Demetrious Johnson? Should Jon Jones stop campaigning for GOAT status?

A lifelong fight fan from Liverpool, England who has been covering mixed martial arts (MMA) and boxing for several years. Follow @JordanEllisUK on Twitter for all the latest fight news, views, interviews and live event coverage.