There aren’t many folks out there with a better understanding of Mixed Martial Arts than Randy Couture, a former UFC champion in multiple divisions during his Hall of Fame career who has also helped foster the development of countless competitors through his work at the Xtreme Couture gym. The 48-year old has nearly seen it all in MMA since debuting nearly fifteen years ago yet to hear Couture talk about it nothing he’s witnessed in the past compares to today’s talent.
Couture recently sat down with Ultimate Insider to offer up his thoughts on the sport’s best pound-for-pound fighter. Though Couture stopped short of picking any single individual based on the inability to ever truly settle the argument, he was able to whittle it down to four of the UFC’s current title-holders: Jose Aldo, Georges St. Pierre, Anderson Silva, and Jon Jones.
“Georges St. Pierre is a strategic and tactical monster. He knows exactly where he wants to be, he breaks his opponents down, (and) he’s knows exactly what he needs to do to win those fights,” said Couture of the welterweight champ, adding he has been particularly impressed by the quality of GSP’s wrestling despite never having been formally trained in the discipline prior to MMA.
Moving on to the light heavyweight king, Couture explained he wasn’t initially sold on Jones until his sophomore performance inside the Octagon.
“I watched Jon Jones in his first fight and he was flailing around. I wasn’t terribly impressed with him at all. He looked like he was struggling and he didn’t know exactly what he wanted to do out there,” Couture revealed. “And they matched him up in his very next fight with Stephan Bonnar. I’m like, ‘Oh my gosh, Stephan’s gonna kill this kid,” and he did things in that fight that I was like, ‘How the heck did he do that?’ I went back to the gym myself and was like, ‘I need to slow that down and figure out how he did that.’”
Couture also credited Aldo with “animalistic intensity” and labeled Silva’s attack has involving “laser-sighted striking with amazing ground skills”.
Watch Couture’s complete take on the quartet’s caliber below:
PHOTO CREDIT – UFC