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Gary Goodridge Is Looking For a Job

When I was in Tokyo for the New Year’s Eve Dynamite!! show, I couldn’t help but notice that Gary Goodridge seemed like a man who didn’t really want to be fighting.  He was added to the card at the last minute, matched up against Gegard Mousasi in a fight the promoters obviously didn’t intend for him to win.  His last MMA fight was in November of 2008.  He hadn’t won one since his 2007 K-1 Heroes bout against Jan Nortje.  So what was he doing fighting "Sweet Sassy" on a few days’ notice?

The answer, Goodridge told me when I spoke to him for an SI.com article this week, is surviving.  He was getting paid the only way he knows how, though he wishes he didn’t have to.

"I’m trying to get a job, period," said Goodridge. "My background is in security, police, corrections. I went to school for four years at a college level to learn how to beat people properly. I would love to be a bodyguard, whatever. I’m just looking for a job."


Goodridge spent all of 2009 staying out of the fight game and looking for steady work.  When the call came offering him the fight with Mousasi, he still hadn’t found anything and his bank account was "drying up."  Naturally, he took the fight, even though he already one scheduled in MMA Big Show for the following weekend (his TKO loss in Japan resulted in the Indiana commission refusing to license him for that bout). 

He was in reasonably good shape, he says.  His weight and cardio were on target, even if his speed and timing might not be.  He knew why the promoters were bringing him in, but what could he do?

"I was going broke looking for a job," he said. "I got a load of bills that need paying. When I got the call I thought, ‘Thank God.’ Now I can pay some bills."

As Goodridge points out, he may be a household name from his time in Pride (he knocked out Oleg Taktarov in the first Pride event) or his early appearances in the UFC, but back then fighters weren’t making much money.  He’ll be fourty-four years old in a couple of weeks.  He can’t go on fighting much longer.  But because that’s what he’s spent the last fourteen years of his life doing, he doesn’t have much else on his resume. 

Goodridge said he enjoyed the trip to Japan, which was like going back in time for him, only this time he knew enough to appreciate all the little things.  Now that he’s had that experience, he’d like to get out of the business.  All he needs is for someone to give him a job

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PaalSunde- January 9, 2010 at 9:21 am
The Igor v GaryG fight was shit.. early stopage by the little dwarf reff...
Big Jumpin Dad- January 8, 2010 at 11:07 pm
@ SweetAfflictionShirt

Dude, SweetSinisterShirt said something almost exactly identical to what youre saying on the "no comment" post
SweetAfflictionShirt- January 8, 2010 at 2:08 pm
That just shows you how real this business is. 10 years ago he was a star in Japan, and now he is chum for the promoters.

Remember when Gary fought Igor...that shit was nothing short of Fucking Awesome.
Big Jumpin Dad- January 8, 2010 at 1:51 pm
Yep, theres always armwrestling robthom, armwrestling solves alot of problems hey robthom? You make aalloot of money from armwrestling friends, loved ones and strangers right? Boy oh boy i can see it now, goodridge armwrestles a few times and next thing he knows he's in Dubai sitting on a thrown in his brand new palace which he purchased with the funds he received from armwrestling his deaf uncle being hand fed grapes and arbys...
macreadysshack- January 8, 2010 at 1:41 pm
LOL @ Robocop!!!
robthom- January 8, 2010 at 12:45 pm
Well theres always armwrestling.
Robocop Didnt Tap- January 8, 2010 at 12:15 pm
Maybe him and Don Frye could team up and start their own company. They could do security, movies, music videos. Just call it Prestige Worldwide.

Ah fuck, that's the plot to Step Brothers. Dammit.
Clyde- January 8, 2010 at 12:00 pm
I have never seen gary goodridge win by armbar or spinelock before. thank you Damien. It really does suck for the guys who started this shit who'll never reap the benefits of the way the sport has grown.
macreadysshack- January 8, 2010 at 10:54 am
Yeah, this is sad. He's one of the pioneers of the sport. He's taken a lot of beatings. I'd hate to see him behind the butchers block ala Randy the Ram. Looks like it's headed that way, though. I'm surprised he cant get a gig as a striking coach at some mid level gym. Bodyguarding is a good idea but it looks a fuck of a lot better on paper than it actually is.

Best of luck to you, bro. Shit, go to business school and open a dojo.

Maybe it's just time for the 'long walk'.

Fucking depressing shit. Thanks, CP. I guess I'll go read the regular news and pop a few dozen sleeping pills and stab myself like Arty Lange.

iDestroy- January 8, 2010 at 10:18 am
It makes me sad to watch all these legends keep fighting and losing because its all they have.

I just wish I could by a farm and set em all free..
Smitty- January 8, 2010 at 10:13 am
That's why these fighters need some sort of insurance, pension, union, whatever. To be "needing" money for bills after 14 years of fighting is pretty fucked up. I don't know if he mis-managed his money or not, but damn, come on. He was a pretty big name back in the day, and his name is still saving cards at the age of 44. He shouldn't have to work.
Merlin- January 8, 2010 at 9:49 am
What ever happened to FU academy?
I can't believe this guy is still fighting ... you know he's lost his last 15 fights with one Draw. That must be some kind of record. PMF.
Why the Japanese still pay to watch losers like James Thompson or Gary Goodridge is beyond me.

But imagine the betting odds on these guys.
GEE-yuh-TEEN- January 8, 2010 at 9:45 am
Feel bad for the dude. He shoudl look into dancing with the stars or celebrity apprentice.
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