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“Ask Gary” #2: Sweat-Guzzling, Arm-Wrestling, and Fighting Friends

(“…everything else is virtually identical.”)

By Gary “Big Daddy” Goodridge

‘claymore’ asks: Of all your opponents in your fighting career, who smelled the worst?
I can’t say which opponent smelled the worst but I can tell you one thing that really grossed me out. One time, Tom “Big Cat” Erikson (wrestling coach at Purdue University) came to my house to help me train for a fight. Anybody who is a true fan of the sport knows that Tom Erikson was the biggest stud in the Pride heavyweight division for a long time. Since I knew striking and Tom knew wrestling, we became quick friends and training partners.

One day we were training and Tom grabbed me and put me in some kind of a hold. At the time, I had absolutely no wrestling skills so I had to fight the type of fight that Tom Erikson wanted to. The problem was that his chest came together and all of his sweat drained directly off his long chest hairs into my mouth. Tom thought that he had me in a good hold and he had no idea what was happening, so I could only watch the open faucet pour right into my mouth. It was the nastiest thing that I’ve ever experienced in my life. I ended up letting Tom go and throwing up; it felt like two mouthfuls of sweat had drained downed my throat. I know that didn’t answer the “who smelled the worst” question, but it was definitely the grossest thing that has ever happened to me.

‘bgoldstein’ asks: Who was the most intimidating fighter you’ve ever faced? Was it Fedor? It was Fedor, wasn’t it.
No, it wasn’t Fedor, although most people think that. The most intimidating fighter who I have ever faced was the giant named Hong Man Choi. At 7’, 420 lbs, I had a really hard time trying to figure out a game plan to deal with his massive size. As an individual, Hong Man Choi was a true gentleman in every sense of the word. The fight between us was surreal. It was like David and Goliath but I didn’t have a rock or a slingshot. I only had my bare hands trying to slay the beast. It was pretty obvious that it would be very hard to engage with Choi. At the beginning of the fight, I was feeling pretty good; the next minute, I was looking up at the stars, knocked out of my wits. I wasn’t completely KO’d but I don’t remember anything after the fight.

‘RWilsonR’ asks: What’s your opinion on fighters fighting teammates? Should they just get over it? Would you ever fight someone you consider to be your brother?
It’s a sport, and teammates have to get over it. We fight for pride and we fight for honor but most of all, we are prize fighters who fight for money. Of course you don’t want to fight your buddy for peanuts, but at the end of the day it’s only a fight and it’s nothing personal. Maybe the casual fan doesn’t really understand that the sport isn’t personal. There is nothing personal about fighting…it’s business. It’s just two combatants.

To the guys who won’t fight their teammates: Stop being scared. Not wanting to fight a teammate might make you sound honorable but the reality is that one of them has got to be scared. I fought Tom Erikson and I love the man. Tom Erikson was one of my best men at my wedding. My wedding was an entire Pride production at the Tokyo Hotel. Bas Rutten and Rampage Jackson did a hilarious rap. Tom Erikson and I stayed at each other’s houses and I love the guy. We’ve traveled around the world together numerous times. It has nothing to do with fighting. The only thing about competing against a friend is that it forces you to fight clean. Fighting is a dirty sport; you’re supposed to be dirty and make somebody as ugly as possible. When you’re fighting a friend, you fight clean.

‘bgoldstein’ (again…sorry guys) asks: I just watched the video of your win over arm-wrestling legend John Brzenk. What happened there? Did the ref blow the call?
This video was taken at the Braisse, in Paris, France, in 1991. John Breznk is a great guy and a good friend and the best pound-for-pound arm wrestler who has ever competed. As you can see in the video he was always calm, cool and collected and I’m a hothead. In that particular competition, Breznk’s hand doesn’t actually go down. The referee made the incorrect call and indicated that I won. As soon as I saw his call, I started ripping my hand out of the holds to celebrate and then jumped into the arms of my cousin Garvin. You can see Breznk protesting, telling the referee that he hadn’t been flashed.

I’m not a referee; I simply follow the decisions of the referee. If the referee indicates that I lost with my hand straight up, then I lost with my hand straight up. You can dispute the call with the referee until you’re blue in the face but it doesn’t make a difference. I’m sorry, but that’s how it goes. You win some and you lose some. I clearly lost that one but the referee won it for me…so, thank you referee.

Got any more questions for Gary? Throw ‘em down in the comments section, and Gary might give you an answer in next week’s column. And please follow Gary Goodridge and Big Daddy Gym on Facebook!


  1. danomite Says:

    Fri, 04/22/11 - 06:13

    that tom erikson story almost made me throw up from reading it. thanks. 1. gary, why do you answer so many of bengoldstein's questions? are you hoping he will ask you out? 2. have you ever known anybody to work a fight or take a dive? you don't have to name names just wondering how much it happened, especially in Japan. 3. why do women like being treated like dirt? I know it's a stereotype, but from my experiences it's pretty much true. 4. do you have video of that pride wedding you mentioned? it sounds pretty awesome.
  2. knucklesamitch Says:

    Fri, 04/22/11 - 06:26

    Why did the chicken cross the road?
  3. dthrckt Says:

    Fri, 04/22/11 - 06:42

    That story is fucking hilarious, I laughed so hard I almost choked on my breakfast.
  4. Pen Fifteen Says:

    Fri, 04/22/11 - 06:49

    At any point as Tom Erikson's sweat poured into your mouth did you consider closing your mouth?
  5. FeelDaRiddum Says:

    Fri, 04/22/11 - 06:55

    why do fools fall in love?
  6. Sgt. 606 Says:

    Fri, 04/22/11 - 07:06

    You didn't take the BeeGee's bait...What was it like to fight Fedor??? Mad respeck, Gary. I hope you are successful in all that you do. Did it hurt your elbow when you elbowed that dude to sleep? I have been a fan of yours and mma since then. Thank you for being so being so awesome.
  7. jimbonics Says:

    Fri, 04/22/11 - 07:30

    I, too, gagged reading the Erikson chest-sweat bit, and summarily laughed my ass off at Pen Fifteen. Good stuff Gary, thanks for these write-ups! Highly entertaining. Q: Even though you have nearly 50 MMA fights under your belt, you've only been submitted a few times. Which submission was the the worst? The Erikson Sweat Submission excluded.
  8. Dog Dicks Magoo Says:

    Fri, 04/22/11 - 07:40

    Who hits the hardest? Was it Igor Vovchanchyn? Who was the nicest fighter and who was the biggest asshole?
  9. LOKI Says:

    Fri, 04/22/11 - 07:47

    @knucklesamitch-Because the road crossed the chicken first.
  10. Mood Says:

    Fri, 04/22/11 - 08:05

    Dear Gary, You've had many highs and lows during your MMA career - What points do you consider to be your highest and lowest?
  11. Trouser Snake Says:

    Fri, 04/22/11 - 08:33

    Gary, how many ring/cage girls have you banged? You don't get a name like Big Daddy without banging lots of bitches.
  12. knucklesamitch Says:

    Fri, 04/22/11 - 08:35

    If a tree falls in the woods and there's no one there to hear it, does it make a sound?
  13. dim mak Says:

    Fri, 04/22/11 - 08:42

    What do you think are the most underrated elements of a successful MMA fighter? What move or decision by an opponent has surprised you the most? Who do you think was the smartest MMA fighter you encountered? Who maximized his athletic ability to the greatest extent through game-planning, training, and execution?
  14. Daley Says:

    Fri, 04/22/11 - 09:09

    Hey Gary, As the mental side of the game is so important most athletes have some kind of superstition that they go through before they compete. Did you have any yourself and much more importantly whats the strangest superstition you've seen or heard about from a fellow fighter?
  15. danomite Says:

    Fri, 04/22/11 - 09:12

    More questions for gary 1. As a 25-40 year old jewish man living in New York, how pumped do you think Ben Goldstein is about the new Beastie Boys album? 2. List these octagon girls in order of hottness: Chandella Powell, Brittney Palmer, Arianny Celeste, Rachelle Leah. (side note: holy crap I can't believe Rachelle Leah is only 26, it seems like forever ago when she was the octagon girl.) 3. Speaking of Arianny, have you pre-ordered her new song yet? I have.
  16. knucklesamitch Says:

    Fri, 04/22/11 - 09:33

    How much wood could a woodchuck chuck IF a woodchuck could chuck wood?
  17. Mofo Says:

    Fri, 04/22/11 - 09:58

    1) Did you ever sleep with any of those hot little Pride ring girls? Please tell me you slept with those hot little Pride ring girls. (And how was it?) 2) Did you have like three tiny harajuku girls swinging from the meat every day? God I love tiny harajuku girls.
  18. knucklesamitch Says:

    Fri, 04/22/11 - 09:59

    What's the sound of one hand clapping?
  19. the chef Says:

    Fri, 04/22/11 - 10:09

    Which of your many wins are you the most proud of? I'm betting it's the Don Frye knockout.
  20. Miradotheblack Says:

    Fri, 04/22/11 - 10:42

    You ever seen someone shit/piss themselves in the ring/cage?
  21. Johnny WF Says:

    Fri, 04/22/11 - 10:45

    Were the stories of Paul Herrera being a white supremacist before you made his skull concave true? By the way, best freaking knockout ever.
  22. El Guapo Says:

    Fri, 04/22/11 - 11:24

    The Beastie Boys are jewish? Aye caramaba!
  23. El Guapo Says:

    Fri, 04/22/11 - 11:25

    Big Daddy... Arianny or Mercedes?
  24. macreadysshack Says:

    Fri, 04/22/11 - 12:23

    This is an old school awesome kind of thread. Gary, what was the most frustrated you've ever been in a fight? Like Tito fighting Machida frustrated. Do you think pro-arm wrestling helped you avoid kimuras/Americanas? Because I think it did even if you don't. How did you manage to stay so grounded and such a nice guy despite being a self-admitted hothead, celebrity (I bet that was off the hook in Japan) and combat sportsman? Have you ever met Chuck Norris? Have you ever wanted to beat his ass? That's all my mind grapes got today.
  25. KrmtDfrog Says:

    Fri, 04/22/11 - 12:41

    Gary, in that video of you arm wrestling Brzenk, you've got... something on your face. What in the hell was that?
  26. ReX13 Says:

    Fri, 04/22/11 - 12:45

    Speaking of Herrera, do you think you had anything to do with that stupid no 12-to-6 elbows rule?
  27. intercept440 Says:

    Fri, 04/22/11 - 01:29

    Gary. Look homie you don't have to brown nose bgoldstien cause your working with him. Answer our quesions a time or two. One cool two brown nosing
  28. MilkMang Says:

    Fri, 04/22/11 - 01:37

    My question is simple Fedor, Overeem, Lesnar, Gotta F**K one, Mary one, Kill one GO!
  29. rpn453 Says:

    Fri, 04/22/11 - 02:27

    Interesting stuff. Thanks Gary!
  30. Casa de los pantelones Says:

    Fri, 04/22/11 - 02:32

    Gary, your elbow came off the arm wrasslin table twice. Thats a DQ, call John and apologize.
  31. Would you date a girl who watches TNA? | girl watches Says:

    Fri, 04/22/11 - 02:58

    [...] “Ask Gary” #2: Sweat-Guzzling, Arm-Wrestling, and Fighting Friends … [...]
  32. DaltonSwayze Says:

    Fri, 04/22/11 - 03:48

    Gary Goodridge vs Bobby Lashley. How does it go down?
  33. RwilsonR Says:

    Fri, 04/22/11 - 05:13

    Thanks for answering Gary. I like you're outlook on the sport.
  34. RwilsonR Says:

    Fri, 04/22/11 - 05:15

    Do you have a video of the rap that Bas Rutten and Rampage Jackson did at your wedding? I know it was already asked, but we need to see that.
  35. RwilsonR Says:

    Fri, 04/22/11 - 05:16

    Do you prefer to fight in a ring or cage? What do you see as the benefits/drawbacks to each one?
  36. RwilsonR Says:

    Fri, 04/22/11 - 05:21

    If a tree falls in the forest and nobody is around to hear it, does it still make a sound more pleasing than Arianny's first single?
  37. RwilsonR Says:

    Fri, 04/22/11 - 05:25

    Real or fake titties on chicks? How about a 20 year old chick? 30 year old? 40 year old? 50 year old?
  38. RwilsonR Says:

    Fri, 04/22/11 - 05:29

    Do you prefer an event to feel feel more like a spectacle or a sport? For instance, do you like the big show atmosphere of Pride with pyrotechnics and everything, or the more standard sporting event feel of the UFC or some kickboxing events?
  39. dcmsm Says:

    Fri, 04/22/11 - 06:15

    How much of the fight game is mental? Were there guys with all the skills in the world in the gym who could never perform out in the ring?
  40. Jawbreaker_46 Says:

    Fri, 04/22/11 - 11:05

    What was the deal with your match with Pat Barry getting stopped? and Do his leg kicks feel like getting hit with a bat.. swung by Barry Bonds?
  41. DARKHORSE06 Says:

    Sat, 04/23/11 - 03:22

    Dear Gary, Why dont you ever answer my questions?
  42. BaghdadBob Says:

    Sat, 04/23/11 - 08:19

    The same sweat-deluge happened to me but it was at BJJ class. Dude's sweat ran all the way down into my ear canal and wouldn't drain out.
  43. fightfan Says:

    Sun, 04/24/11 - 02:47

    1.) Has DREAM ever paid you yet? 2.) Are you aware of any "FIXED" fights in PRIDE? OR any fight brackets purposely put together to "favor" certain figters? 3.) What was teh deal with the Tatar fight? HE got about 92 warnings for holding the ropes. You got a yelow card, then DQ'd? What happened in that fight? 4.) Are you concerned with how your long & brutal fight career may take a toll on your physical health as you get older? Especially with all the developements & adances in science on head injuries, concussions, etc.
  44. 1Jackal Says:

    Sun, 04/24/11 - 08:02

    In May 1st it will be 11 years since the Pride Grand Prix 2000 Finals. Do you think that it is the best night of fights in mma history and what does it mean to you to be part of that card. What was some of the most memorable moments of that night/trip?
  45. snakey Says:

    Sun, 04/24/11 - 11:13

    Hi Gary. in your Pride fights, your wife often ran into the ring seconds after you had KOed or been KOed. What was all that about and what was the most memorable you remember her saying to you? Did they ever try to stop her? Massive fan from your Pride days and all the best in whatever you are up to now.
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