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Gary Goodridge Explains Why He Walked Out on MFL Fight Saturday Night Moments Before the Bell

(Nobody puts "Big Daddy" in a corner)

When news first broke that UFC veteran Gary Goodridge stood up former The Ultimate Fighter Season 2 contestant Tom Murphy for their MFL fight this weekend in Montreal, rumors started circulating about why "Big Daddy" walked out of the arena minutes before the main event bout. spoke with Goodridge last night and the MMA veteran explained why he went AWOL Saturday night.

According to 44-year-old Barie, Ontario, Canada resident, the event’s promoter, Dirk Waardenburg promised to pay him double what the commission was to be told he made for the fight, with 50 percent to be paid in cash prior to the bout and the remainder to be paid via check after the event.

When Waardenburg continued to make excuses all night why he couldn’t pay yet, Goodridge says he confronted the promoter about their agreed upon financial terms that were not met and he was told that because of poor attendance, he would only get 20 percent and could take it or leave it.

"All night I kept asking [Waardenburg] where my money was and he kept saying he couldn’t pay me because there were too many people around. I was like, ‘Why can’t we go into a bathroom or something?’ you know? Finally, I’d had enough and I talked to him just before they were about to announce the fight and I told him I wasn’t going out there unless he paid me," Goodridge recalls. "He gave me 20 percent of what he promised me and he told me he couldn’t afford to pay me the rest. I handed it back to him and I told him I wasn’t going to fight unless they came up with all of it. "

Never one to be pushed around, Goodridge didn’t want a repeat of the non-payment issue he had with K-1 this year for his New Year’s Eve fight with Gegard Mousasi and he says he had a bad feeling about what would have happened if he fought without his money in his hand.

"After what happened to me in Japan, I didn’t want to risk it. Even if it were a sure win, it’s about the principle of it. I wasn’t going to go out there with a smile on my face and pretend everything was great and get punched in the head and fight my heart out for them when they treated me the way they did, and end up looking like an idiot," he says. "Because it wasn’t on record, there would have been nothing I could do to prove what he owed me. I’d have no recourse. I feel bad for leaving Tom hanging like that, but I wasn’t going to be taken advantage of. He thought because the commission had already checked me and my gloves were on, that he had me and I was stuck fighting without having to pay me what was owed to me. He thought he had me backed into a corner and I wasn’t going to be backed into a corner."

Waardenburg told that he was unsure why Goodridge didn’t fight, but insinuated it was stress related.

Goodridge trained for nine weeks for the bout and even cut weight for the first time in his career to fight at a heavyweight "catchweight" of 220 pounds — another situation he says just didn’t seem right from the start.

"When I signed the contract, I was told it was a heavyweight bout, which was fine since I was around 253 [pounds] at the time and I wouldn’t have to cut any weight. Then they call me and they tell me I have to get down to 215 and I was like, "Why do I have to cut if it’s a heavyweight bout and I’m within the limit?" They told me it’s going to be a catchweight bout so I have to get down to 215, but I was stuck at 240 so they made it for 220. I worked my ass off to cut the weight, training and dieting," Goodridge explains. "I’ve never had to diet in my life, but I did it because I needed the money. I knew if I could get down to 217, I would be okay no matter what scale they used. Knowing what I went through to make weight and how hard I prepared for the fight, it made for a tough decision, but I think I did the right thing. I fucking spent nine weeks training for this fight and I’m sure my opponent trained just as hard. I left my family and my kids to do this. That 20 percent would have helped me a lot and I probably shouldn’t have given it back since it wasn’t on the books, but I’m honest."

Now Goodridge, faces the reality that the money he should have earned for the fight isn’t there and the back bills that the cash was earmarked for won’t get paid, which makes his MFL experience even more of a bitter pill to swallow.

"I’m broke. I’m just looking for a job. I’ll do security or work in a factory — anything. I need to get a good job, so wherever I can find one, I’ll take it," Goodridge says. "That money would have paid my bills, man. My cell phone is getting cut off and I can’t even afford to pay my mortgage."

Cagepotato Comments

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Your Dumb- September 27, 2010 at 6:06 pm
It's at moments like these I like to remind these fighters that they're at least not Ken Shamrock.
LAS- September 27, 2010 at 3:22 pm
I can't believe all the pricks on here siding with the promoter. Clearly the arrangement was meant to allow Goodridge to pocket part of his purse tax-free. This is like me going to get my haircut at a place that takes $20 cash, and then telling them, sorry, I'm only giving you $5. Sure, they could have gotten it in writing, but the world works a lot better when mutual trust is the rule.

Unfortunately, fighters are forced to make investments in training far in advance of knowing whether or not a promoter is going to fuck them over. Let's hope more GG's have to balls to come out and blow the whistle on these kind of dickbags.
Rampages Conscience- September 27, 2010 at 3:16 pm
Poor guy. I hope you guys paid him something for this interview... or at least bought him lunch.
El Guapo- September 27, 2010 at 2:29 pm
Big Daddy lost 35 pounds and all he got was this lousy t-shirt..
Chiggs- September 27, 2010 at 1:58 pm
Titos Head Says:
Mon, 09/27/2010 - 16:51

Thats it..MMA fighters need a Union like Boxers.. Nuff said

Unfortunately they'll get on about as fast as Pro Wrestlers have. Your right though, they definetly could use one.
Chiggs- September 27, 2010 at 1:54 pm
Mr_Misanthropy Says:
Mon, 09/27/2010 - 13:55

...or getting pummeled by Peanuts. Lucy always goes straight for the ball kick and Pigpen has Staph that would make Kevin Randle-mon proud.

Haha thats fuckin awesome!! And No, you dont wanna mess with the Peanuts gang...shit, their a Gang fer fucksakes! And no doubt they go straight 209 on your ass too :P
Titos Head- September 27, 2010 at 1:51 pm
Thats it..MMA fighters need a Union like Boxers.. Nuff said
lonerworm- September 27, 2010 at 1:49 pm
i have a feeling 'underhanded deals' are common. i at least hope the are- considering the chump change some of these guys are 'reported' as getting?

but i'm w/you on wishing the UFC would put together a new show for these 'OGs'. or a TUF using all Pride fighters as coaches or something.

but not sure i wanna see 'most' of them actually competing in the octagon. hate seeing people humiliate themselves and tainting their legacy cause their on hard times. too mickey rourke in 'the wrestler' for comfort
Mike Russell- September 27, 2010 at 12:45 pm
He weighed in at  217 1/2.
Ballkick- September 27, 2010 at 12:25 pm
A bird in the hand........Gary, listening?
SouthSideEssay- September 27, 2010 at 11:59 am
Give a round of applause for Satan everybody...
El Guapo- September 27, 2010 at 11:47 am
So how much did he weigh, anyway? Just curious. I'm thinking 235ish
cecils_pupils- September 27, 2010 at 11:00 am
lol @ Biffmiester
Hank Mardukis- September 27, 2010 at 10:58 am
Am I the only one who thinks Goodridge looks just like Gilbert Yvel in that pic?
Mr_Misanthropy- September 27, 2010 at 10:55 am
...or getting pummeled by Peanuts. Lucy always goes straight for the ball kick and Pigpen has Staph that would make Kevin Randle-mon proud.
Chiggs- September 27, 2010 at 10:43 am
Barrie* Not Barie :P Sucks for Gary though, also sucks that that shit still happens with douchey Promoters. Woulda walked out too, no sense getting pummelled for peanuts...
Crap Factory- September 27, 2010 at 10:37 am

Fighting for SOME money, or walking out and getting nothing. Seems like a no-brainer to me. If he's that bad off, he should have fought.
Mr_Misanthropy- September 27, 2010 at 10:31 am
Little did we know that the other 30% was to be paid in fried chicken and waffles but when the truck showed up it wasn't Popeyes as was previously stated in the gentlemanly agreement.

It's alright though- if Goodridge can pack some more weight on and get up to super-heavyweight he could have a job waiting as the new Michelin Man.
RwilsonR- September 27, 2010 at 10:28 am
I feel bad for these guys that are getting screwed, as well. And I enjoy their fights and this sport, so I hope there are fewer of these sleazy promoters in the future.

But I also don't feel that bad for these guys that are strapped for cash while "pursuing their dream." Especially the guys that whine about supporting their families. Maybe they should have thought about how responsible it is to try to support your family by being a professional athlete in a sport that isn't well established, let alone in a sport that is. Maybe they should have simply gotten a regular job that they hate, but that pays the bills, just like the rest of us.

I know I would probably prefer going to the gym and working out, sparring and grappling all day long, better than sitting in this crappy office and staring at my computer all day. But I also know that if I trained full time, I would probably win a few and lose a few, and I wouldn't expect to be paid more than what my crappy performances would be worth - which is not very much. So instead, I show up to work every day, which ranges from tolerable to miserable, but I make a hell of a lot more money than I would trying to be a professional fighter. I can pay my bills, and I can afford my mortgage. And that gives me the financial freedom to do what I want when I'm not at work.

It sucks that these guys don't get paid what they are promised, and all contracts should be honored if the got it in writing. But they also chose to spend their lives doing something that likely woud not pay off. I'm not going to feel too badly about that. We all make choices.
Biffmiester- September 27, 2010 at 10:26 am
At least Goodridge didn't drive a segway off a cliff.
ihateemo- September 27, 2010 at 10:18 am
Get everything in writing or GTFO. Not rocket science.
hotsaucemonster- September 27, 2010 at 10:16 am
i have a feeling gary goodridge will be making a majority of his income from inside bathrooms quite soon
Stak40- September 27, 2010 at 9:34 am
I feel bad for anyone who is having a hard time paying bills and providing for thier family. Even those who have made bad decisions in the past. If things are that tough i dont know why he didnt just take the money. He let his pride get in the way. Bet he will go about it differently next time. I
J_Spice- September 27, 2010 at 9:31 am
I remember Tim Credeur from TUF 7 saying his shot on the show was his last chance because he was tired of being screwed over by promoters. I'm sure this happens at every local show. Its just horrible to see it happened to someone who was once a star, not to mention an up and comer who is trying to make ends meet.
jimbonics- September 27, 2010 at 9:29 am
I would say zero repercussions since he didn't fight and didn't collect any money. Beyond that it'll boil down to 'he said - she said'.

Remember when Gegard got paid $2,000 for his first fight in Strikeforce? Riiiiiight.