Son Goku has always been one of the strongest fighters in all of Dragon Ball and is right up there as the strongest when it comes to non-god characters. However, as powerful as Goku may be, the one enemy he hasn’t defeated in canon is Cell, who himself is one of the most iconic Dragon Ball villains. But that doesn’t mean that Cell is more powerful than Goku. So, who would win in a fight between Goku and Cell?
Goku would most likely win in a fight against Cell. That’s because the current Goku in the manga has completely mastered Ultra Instinct and has power levels that are beyond imagination. So, if Gohan Beast was able to defeat Cell Max easily, MUI Goku should be able to do the same as well.
One of the things that have been inconsistent with Dragon Ball Super is the power level of the new opponents and characters, as people aren’t sure whether or not Cell Max is stronger than either Jiren or Broly. Nevertheless, let’s try to shed some light on this argument so that we can see whether or not Goku could indeed defeat Cell.
Goku is a martial arts master and has more skills than almost anyone else in Dragon Ball. Probably the only one that could match his prowess as a martial artist is Vegeta, who himself has trained extremely hard to make sure that Goku doesn’t surpass him. Goku has been a martial arts addict ever since his childhood years, and his love for martial arts only grew as he reached his adult years. In that regard, he may not always be the strongest character in raw power, but his martial arts skills are right at the top.
The thing about Cell is that he was made to be the perfect being that could kill Goku, and that is why he has almost all of Goku’s moves and techniques. But we are talking about the original Cell, who was killed by Gohan back in Dragon Ball Z. Meanwhile, Cell Max is simply a mindless beast that doesn’t have the martial arts skills and prowess of the original cell. So, while Cell Max is an incredibly powerful beast, he is more of a straight-up brawler than a skilled fighter.
Cell, in his original form, could have matched Goku’s prowess as a martial artist. But the problem is that Cell Max isn’t the same kind of martial artist that the original Cell was. So, while Cell Max is indeed powerful, Goku has the edge in martial arts.
Goku 1, Cell 0
Goku has a host of techniques that he can use in battle because of the fact that he is one of the most well-rounded fighters in Dragon Ball. His main technique is the Kamehameha, but he also uses other techniques that can aid him in battles, such as Instant Transmission and Kaio-Ken. Goku can also borrow the energy of living creatures so that he can create a Spirit Bomb that is powerful enough to defeat enemies that are a lot stronger than him. This is why he is arguably the most well-rounded fighter in the series.
Cell was, of course, created using the cells of Goku and all of the Z Fighters. That’s why he not only has Goku’s techniques but the techniques of all of the other Z Fighters as well. He can do almost anything that Goku can do and then add a few things into the mix by using the techniques of all of the other characters as well. That is why Cell was such a fearsome fighter during the Cell Saga, as he could use any technique that was included in his programming as a biological android.
Yes, Goku has a lot of different techniques at his disposal, but Cell could simply do a lot more. He is capable of performing almost all of the techniques we have seen in Dragon Ball so far and can even create clones that are almost as powerful as he is.
Goku 1, Cell 1
Goku has more transformations than any character in Dragon Ball because, after all, he is the main character. He has all of the different Super Saiyan forms and is one of only two characters in the official canon to reach this form. On top of his most powerful Super Saiyan form, which is Super Saiyan Blue, he gained access to his Mastered Ultra Instinct in the manga. And he is most powerful when he is in his Mastered Ultra Instinct form, which isn’t a Super Saiyan transformation but is a state that anyone can reach with intense training.
Cell is similar to almost all of the main villains of Dragon Ball in the sense that he has different transformations that he can reach. He started out as a character that was just about as powerful as Android 17 and 18 but was able to exceed them when he absorbed all of them. Cell reached his perfect form after absorbing Android 18 and was able to overpower all of the Z Fighters. After that, he reached an even more powerful perfect form after dying and reviving. Meanwhile, in Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero, a different version of Cell in the form of Cell Max debuted.
There is no doubt that Goku has a lot of different powerful transformations that are stronger than what Cell has to offer. However, Goku’s transformations aren’t permanent and are very demanding in terms of their stamina use. On the other hand, Cell’s transformations are all permanent.
Goku 1, Cell 2
Goku has varying power levels depending on the transformation or form that he uses, but he is almost always stronger than most of his opponents whenever he is transforming. He was already overpoweringly strong in his Super Saiyan Blue state but was able to get to another level of power that he used to overpower Jiren when he unlocked the Mastered Ultra Instinct state. In fact, in the manga, he was able to defeat other beings that are just as powerful as he is using the Mastered Ultra Instinct because of the fact that this form is incredibly powerful and potent.
Cell’s most powerful form used to be his super perfect cell form, which was just about as powerful as Gohan’s Super Saiyan 2 transformation. However, in Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero, Cell Max was stronger than any of the Z Fighters in the absence of Goku and Vegeta. It took Gohan’s new transformation, called Beast, to defeat Cell Max quite easily, as there is a good chance that this new form is just as powerful as Mastered Ultra Instinct.
Even though Cell was able to overpower almost everyone in Super Hero, Gohan was able to defeat him in his Beast form. It can be argued that Gohan Beast is just about as powerful as Goku’s Mastered Ultra Instinct, and that means that Goku probably has a higher power level.
Goku 2, Cell 2
Goku, as the star of Dragon Ball, has the most impressive feats on the show. On top of the fact that he was able to overwhelm and defeat Jiren using Ultra Instinct in the anime, he was able to defeat Moro’s Ultra Instinct as well and contend with the likes of Gas and Granolah in the manga. This means that he has some of the most incredible feats, as it can be argued that he is just a tad under Beerus and the Angels in terms of how powerful he is.
Cell, meanwhile, doesn’t have a lot of feats during his limited appearance in Dragon Ball. He did defeat all of the Z Fighters in Dragon Ball Z but ended up losing to Gohan. However, in Super Hero, Cell Max was powerful enough to easily defeat Super Saiyan Gohan, Trunks, Goten, Potential Unleashed Piccolo, Android 18, Krillin, Gamma 1, and Gamma 2. But he hasn’t been able to defeat anyone nearly as powerful as the opponents that Goku defeated.
Due to his limited appearances, Cell doesn’t have the most impressive feats. He hasn’t defeated anyone near the level of a god, as most of the opponents he defeated in Super Hero were not even close to Goku’s level. That’s why Goku still has the more impressive feats.
Goku 3, Cell 2
Goku vs. Cell: Who Would Win In A Fight
Even though Goku has never beaten Cell in canon, he is still the stronger fighter between the two. In Dragon Ball Z, he allowed Gohan to defeat Cell because he knew that his son had unlocked Super Saiyan 2 and had the potential to defeat the monster. Meanwhile, Cell Max and Goku never even met. Despite all that, we can say for sure that Goku has more than enough power to defeat Cell Max, especially after he mastered his Ultra Instinct.