Jared Gooden Talks UFC Redemption, Upcoming Fight, and More

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Jared Gooden is not your typical UFC fighter. From his unconventional journey into mixed martial arts to his commitment to personal growth and resilience, Gooden’s story is one of perseverance, passion, and a relentless pursuit of excellence. In a recent interview with Mike on the Couch Warrior Podcast, Gooden shared his inspiring story, shedding light on his unique path to the UFC and his unwavering determination to become a champion.

A Warrior’s Resilience: The Story of Jared Gooden

Gooden’s journey into the world of fighting began not in a gym but on the streets. As a child, he was more interested in rocks and bugs than in combat sports. His sister introduced him to fighting, setting up spontaneous street fights to toughen him up. However, when he stumbled upon a UFC fight on TV at 15, his passion for mixed martial arts was truly ignited.

“I’ll never forget when I was 15 years old, I was spending time with my dad in Florida, and he took the first week off… During the day I was bored at his house, I was just watching TV, and UFC Unleashed came on… It blew my mind. So I remember right then and there I was like, yep, that’s what I have to do,” Gooden recalled.

Two years later, at the age of 17, Gooden walked into his first gym, Eagle Training Academy, where he met his first coach, Philippe Gentry. Gentry taught him the fundamentals of Jiu-Jitsu and laid the foundation for his MMA career.

Beginning the Battle

Gooden’s first amateur fight came at 18, and despite a lack of knowledge about weight classes and the intricacies of the sport, he was hooked. His amateur career had setbacks, including losing his debut fight to Tony Davis. However, Gooden viewed these losses as learning opportunities, pushing him to evolve and improve as a fighter.

“I’m a perfectionist in a way. I always want to work on what I’m bad at… You have to evolve or you die in MMA,” he said.

Gooden’s resilience was tested further when he was cut from the UFC after his first stint, a devastating blow to his lifelong dream. He opened up about the dark period that followed, including struggles with suicidal thoughts and the need for therapy to cope with the loss.

“It was a very dark time for me… I had suicidal thoughts really bad. I ain’t gonna lie to you, bro,” Gooden shared.

However, Gooden’s resilience shone through as he fought back, racking up wins and earning his way back into the UFC. This led to his most recent fight, where he scored a round two submission over BJJ black belt Wellington Turman. Despite the setbacks, his ultimate goal remains unchanged: to become a UFC champion.

Training and Mentorship

Today, Gooden trains at Muscle City Barbell in Norcross, Georgia, under the guidance of his head coach, Kelly Davis, and also at Temporal Jiu-Jitsu in Lithonia, Georgia. He emphasized the importance of his close relationship with his coaches, not just as mentors in MMA but also as life coaches who have helped him become a better man.

“My coaches, like Daniel Hutton, Kelly Davis, they’re more than just coaches about MMA and fighting. They’re life coaches. They help me be a better man and not just a better fighter,” he said.

The Future

As for his upcoming fight against Kevin Jousset, Gooden is confident and focused on his game plan.

“When you step in there with me, May 11th, I’m gonna knock you out. I’m gonna tell him, his coaches, whoever’s watching, his fans right now, I’m gonna go in there and I’m gonna beat him with the jab. Everything I do is gonna be set up off the jab. I’m gonna knock him out off the jab,” Gooden declared.

A Message of Resilience and Perseverance

Gooden’s journey serves as an inspiring reminder of the power of resilience, determination, and the importance of surrounding oneself with supportive mentors. His story is a testament to the idea that setbacks are not the end but rather opportunities for growth and improvement.

“Never stop fighting, man. Like it’s just, yeah, life can get hard. You could have your dream. It can be taken away from you, but man, never quit. You know what I mean? Never stop fighting because every day you wake up in the sun shining, man. It’s a beautiful day. It’s another day to try,” Gooden advised.

As he continues his journey in the UFC, Jared Gooden’s story is one that fans and aspiring fighters alike can look up to, a tale of resilience, perseverance, and an unwavering commitment to achieving one’s dreams.

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Michael Kachan is a life long MMA fan and has been analyzing and breaking down fights for over four years. He is the host of the Couch Warrior Podcast where he provides weekly MMA breakdowns as well as fighter interviews and more.

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