Rumblings of DJ becoming “the GOAT” after last night’s victory are premature and exaggerated.
Johnson, who was #23 in our last version of the All-Time Rankings, will surely move up after the next update. I estimate he’ll be at the cusp of the Top 20 and will continue to gain points as he maintains his lofty standing in the Flyweight division.
The greatest complications with the all-time rankings are simple to understand, but impossible to resolve with 100% satisfaction.
- How do you weight divisions against one another (no pun intended)?
- How do you weight eras against one another?
- How do you weight quantity vs. quality?
- How and when do you credit fighters for the extraordinary?
The first two are the easiest to articulate and can be grouped together. Here’s an analogy:
You are a basketball legend at your high school, the best that the school has ever seen, but there have only ever been 500 basketball players in the school’s history. You are the greatest of all-time at your school, but only #5 in your state at current. Your state has tens of thousands of these athletes at any given time.
Which is more impressive? Being #1 out of 500, or being #5 out of 50,000?
Although the Flyweight division has come a long way, it just recently made its way onto the map. Other established divisions have been deep for a couple decades.
In terms of quality vs. quantity, DJ is doing a good job with the quantity, but his time at the top is still young. He’s been a top fighter for 4-5 years. Guys like Fedor and Aldo had/have elite-level tenures around double this. Furthermore, the only other all-time elite level fighter he faced in or near their prime (Cruz, #30), beat him. OK, I’ll give DJ credit for the Torres (#43) win, but it certainly wasn’t Torres at his best.
The “extraordinary” that gets the biggest highlight in my book, is high-level success in multiple weight divisions. Now is the time for DJ to move up to 135. There is nothing left to do at 125 except for continuing to rack up title defenses against fighters who don’t really deserve the opportunity.
Posted on April 16, 2017 by jcs