Gary Goodridge

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Gary Goodridge
Born Gary Henry Goodridge
(1966-01-17) January 17, 1966 (age 52)
Saint James, Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago
Other names Big Daddy
Nationality Trinidadian / Canadian
Height 6 ft 3 in (1.91m)
Weight 240 lb (109 kg; 17 st 2 lb)
Division Super Heavyweight (kickboxing)
Heavyweight (MMA)
Style Kickboxing, Muay Thai, Kuk Sool Won
Fighting out of Barrie, Ontario, Canada
Team Team Go-Riki
Rank Honorary 4th degree black belt
in Kuk Sool Won
Black prajied in Muay Thai
Years active 1996–2010 (MMA)
1999–2010 (Kickboxing)
Kickboxing record
Total 38
Wins 12
By knockout 11
Losses 24
By knockout 14
Draws 2
Mixed martial arts record
Total 47
Wins 23
By knockout 13
By submission 9
By decision 1
Losses 23
By knockout 11
By submission 8
By decision 4
Draws 1
Other information
Mixed martial arts record from Sherdog

Gary Henry Goodridge[1] (born January 17, 1966), nicknamed "Big Daddy", is a retired Trinidadian-Canadian super heavyweight kickboxer and heavyweight mixed martial artist fighting out of Barrie, Ontario. Prior to kickboxing and MMA, he was also one of the top ranked contenders in the world of professional arm wrestling.[2] In early 2012, Goodridge was diagnosed with early onset of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE).[3]

Early life[edit]

Goodridge was born in Saint James, Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago before moving to Barrie, Ontario, Canada. Prior to his career in combat sports, he worked as a welder at the Honda factory in Alliston, Ontario.[4]

He was a world champion in arm wrestling, and was able to defeat the likes of greats Sharon Remez and John Brzenk in 1991 and again in 1994. He was also the super heavyweight amateur boxing champion of Canada.

Mixed martial arts career[edit]

Goodridge originally applied for Ultimate Fighting Championship by his friends's suggestion after they watched the fight between Remco Pardoel and Orlando Wiet in UFC 2.[5] He started training in a kuk sool won school, as he wanted some martial arts credentials aside from his boxing championship,[6] only to find out that the school was already training a fighter to compete in UFC. Gary was forced to fight him, and he won in dominant fashion, so he was quickly offered a 4th degree black belt and a free dobok if he represented the school at the event. He ended up going to UFC 8 with less than a month of experience in the art.[7]

Ultimate Fighting Championship[edit]

In 1996, Goodridge made his debut in UFC in the eight-man tournament at UFC 8: David vs. Goliath in San Juan, Puerto Rico. He first went against amateur wrestler Paul Herrera, whom Goodridge outweighed by nearly 80 lbs. In order to increase Goodridge's will to fight, he had been told by his friends that Herrera and his teammate Tank Abbott were white supremacists.[7] The resultant fight would be a spectacular knockout, as Herrera shot for a fireman's carry only to be caught in a crucifix position by Goodridge, who then proceeded to deliver multiple elbow strikes to the helpless Herrera's head, ending the bout in 13 seconds. The second elbow strike landed on Herrera's temple and knocked him unconscious, but the fight was not stopped until Goodridge landed seven more blows, giving Herrera a concussion and a broken cheekbone.[5][7] According to Goodridge, the hold had been planned by him and his cornermen after they casually witnessed Herrera training intensively his fireman's carry takeovers, although they had originally conceived it to set up a wrist lock, not strikes.[7]

Goodridge advanced to second round, where he faced Lion's Den fighter Jerry Bohlander. Goodridge made usage of his strength advantage to control Bohlander, but he got swept and received punches and headbutts until he could escape from Bohlander's mount. Eventually Goodridge stacked him against the fence and landed two heavy right hooks, knocking Jerry out.[8] Before his match at the finals against future legend Don Frye, Goodridge considered quitting for an alternate due to exhaustion and lack of preparation, but he accepted the fight in order to collect the bout money.[6] Goodridge opened the fight throwing Frye to the mat with a waist lock and trying to get a finishing kick to the head, only for Frye to escape and punish him with uppercuts from the clinch.[5] Gary managed to take him down again and capture his back, but Frye reversed and rained punches, making a tired Goodridge tap out.[8]

Goodridge returned at UFC 9: Motor City Madness in a non-tournament bout against Olympic wrestler Mark Schultz. The wrestler controlled the fight by taking Gary down and grinding him with short punches, and eventually landed a flurry of blows from the mount as the time ran out. Instead of going to the overtime period, the referee stopped the fight due to cuts in Goodridge's face, which Schultz had rubbed in order to deepen them.[9] On July 12, 1996 at UFC 10: The Tournament, Goodridge took part in his second and last UFC tournament. He first fought wrestler John Campetella, knocking him out with left punches from the mount after reversing a takedown, and advanced round against wrestling champion and eventual winner Mark Coleman. Goodridge was taken down repeatedly, struck with elbows and headbutts and finally submitted for giving his back.[10]

His final UFC match came on December 7, 1996 at Ultimate Ultimate 1996, in a rematch against Don Frye. After trading strikes inside the clinch, Goodridge scored a takedown and started punishing Frye with headbutts. However, Frye reached for two armbars attempts and got free, performing his own takedown, and then Goodridge tapped out due to exhaustion just like their first time.[11]

Vale tudo[edit]

Following his UFC career, Goodridge travelled to Brazil to compete in vale tudo. His first match was against Mario "Sukata" Neto, which ended in 6:02 when Goodridge tapped out again due to exhaustion.

On July 6, 1997, Goodridge participated in the first International Vale Tudo Championship tournament. He submitted Augusto Menezes Santos, improvising a neck crank from a standing double underhook position, and then Mark Coleman protegee and fellow UFC veteran Cal Worsham, locking a keylock, both in a combined time of 0:75. He then advanced to the finals, where he faced luta livre stylist Pedro Otavio. As the IVC ruleset allowed groin shots, the fight featured multiple low blows intertwined with their grappling exchanges. In a particularly brutal instance, Goodridge capitalized on having Otavio in a butterfly guard to get his feet inside the Brazilian's tights and squeeze his testicles with his toes. Finally, after grabbing again Otavio's testicles from a clinch, Goodridge overpowered him and landed strikes for the KO, winning the tournament.[12][13]

PRIDE Fighting Championships[edit]

In late 1997, Goodridge was recruited to compete in Japan's PRIDE Fighting Championships. He made his promotional debut against Russian grappler Oleg Taktarov at PRIDE1 on October 11, 1997, scoring a brutal knocout by right hook almost five minutes into the match.[14] He returned at PRIDE 2 on March 15, 1998, where he faced UFC 7 tournament winner and Brazilian luta livre fighter Marco Ruas. Goodridge dominated Ruas for most of the match, cutting him in the face and stunning him with ground and pound, but he was eventually caught in a heel hook and submitted.[15] He then recorded a knockout win over Bas Rutten trainee Amir Rahnavardi in a violent at PRIDE 3, at one point famously shouting Amir to hit him while he was in his guard.[16] Goodridge's last consecutive PRIDE apparition was in Pride 4, where he would fight Igor Vovchanchyn in his debut fight. Knowing Igor's reputation as a striker, Goodridge took him down and tried to best him there, but the Ukrainian got his way free and landed two solid left hooks, knocking Goodridge out on his feet.[17]

Following a brief return to the UFC in 1999 when he submitted Andre Roberts at UFC 19: Ultimate Young Guns, Goodridge met Olympic judoka Naoya Ogawa at Pride 6 and lost when his opponent was able to put him in a Kimura lock in the second round.

On January 20, 2000, Goodridge took part in the sixteen-man, open weight tournament at the PRIDE Grand Prix 2000 Opening Round. He submitted Osamu Tachihikari with a choke in under a minute and advanced to the quarter-finals which took place at the PRIDE Grand Prix 2000 Finals on May 1, 2000. There, he faced Ukrainian kickboxer Igor Vovchanchyn for the second time in his career, and was knocked out by him once again. He also went on to lose his next two matches after this, a decision to Ricco Rodriguez at PRIDE 9: New Blood and a violent high kick knockout to Dutch Muay Thai fighter Gilbert Yvel at Pride 10 - Return of the Warriors.

Over the next two years, Goodridge became PRIDE's heavyweight gatekeeper, taking wins over Yoshiaki Yatsu, Valentijn Overeem, Achmed Labasanov, Lloyd van Dams and Dan Bobish, as well as losses to Antônio Rodrigo Nogueira and Fedor Emelianenko. He won his third match vs. Don Frye at PRIDE Shockwave 2003, dropping his rival with a head kick at 0:39 of round 1. This was Goodridge's retirement match. However, he would return to the ring just months later in the K-1 and Hero's organizations for whom he fought both kickboxing and MMA matches.


In 2004, Goodridge began competing for the K-1 promotion's HERO'S series. In his promotional debut, he knocked out pro wrestler Sylvester Terkay in round 1 at K-1 MMA ROMANEX. On March 26, 2005 at HERO'S 1, Goodridge defeated Russian sumo wrestler Alan Karaev by submission.

Following this, he lost to fellow PRIDE veteran Heath Herring at HERO'S by knockout on March 15, 2006. At HERO'S 8 on March 12, 2007, Goodridge beat South African Jan "The Giant" Nortje via TKO. This would be his last professional victory despite going on to compete for a further three years.

Kickboxing career[edit]

Goodridge made his kickboxing debut in 1999 at K-1 Revenge, against Musashi and lost the fight by disqualification. His first win in K-1 came against Mike Bernardo by technical knockout at the K-1 World Grand Prix 2002 in Las Vegas in 2002. Following this, he took part in the opening round of the 2002 K-1 World Grand Prix against Jérôme Le Banner and was knocked out 42 seconds into the match.

In 2005, Goodridge participated in two K-1 World GP tournaments held in United States. On April 30 in Las Vegas he knocked out Sean O'Haire and Scott Lighty to reach the finals of the K-1 World Grand Prix 2005 in Las Vegas, where he was stopped by Glaube Feitosa with a high kick KO. Three months later, on July 30, 2005, in Honolulu, Hawaii he scored three KO wins over Wesley Correira, Carter Williams and Yusuke Fujimoto, respectively, to win the K-1 World Grand Prix 2005 in Hawaii. He was again given the chance to qualify for the World GP in 2005 but was knocked out by Jérôme Le Banner once again.

In 2006, he returned to the K-1 World Grand Prix 2006 in Las Vegas where he defeated Kengo and Scott Lighty before losing to Chalid Arrab by knockout in the final.

Personal life[edit]

Following 85 fights in his martial arts career, in which he was knocked out 25 times, Goodridge now suffers from chronic traumatic encephalopathy.[3] Goodridge, and co-author Mark Dorsey, published in December 2011, "Gatekeeper: The Fighting Life of Gary "Big Daddy" Goodridge." The book details his experience in UFC, Pride, and K1 along with detailed personal information about his life and family.


Goodridge stated in an interview that it was not uncommon for fighters in Pride FC to take bribes to determine the outcomes of fights. He says that people contacted him before his fight with Naoya Ogawa at Pride 6 and offered him a bribe to lose the match. He claims that he turned it down as the bribe offered was too small. Goodridge says he lost that bout legitimately.[18]

Championships and accomplishments[edit]

Amateur boxing

  • Super Heavyweight Champion of Canada


Kuk Sool Won

  • Honorary 4th Degree Black Belt (Sa Beom Nim)[19]

Mixed martial arts

Mixed martial arts record[edit]

Res. Record Opponent Method Event Date Round Time Location Notes
Loss 23–23–1 Lyubomir Simeonov TKO (punches) Bulgarian MMA Federation: Warriors 18 December 17, 2010 1 3:01 Sofia, Bulgaria
Loss 23–22–1 Pedro Rizzo TKO (retirement) Washington Combat May 15, 2010 2 5:00 Washington, D.C., United States
Loss 23–21–1 Gegard Mousasi TKO (punches) Dynamite!! The Power of Courage 2009 December 31, 2009 1 1:34 Saitama, Saitama, Japan
Loss 23–20–1 Gábor Németh TKO (corner stoppage) Super GP November 22, 2008 2 3:45 Budapest, Hungary Goodridge left the ring[20]
Loss 23–19–1 Alistair Overeem Submission (americana) United Glory 10 November 9, 2008 1 1:47 Arnhem, Netherlands
Loss 23–18–1 Paul Buentello Decision (unanimous) Affliction: Banned July 19, 2008 3 5:00 Anaheim, California, United States
Loss 23–17–1 Terroll Dees Decision (unanimous) Iroquois MMA Championships 4 June 21, 2008 3 5:00 Ontario, Canada
Loss 23–16–1 Choi Mu-Bae KO (punch) The Khan 1 March 30, 2008 2 N/A Seoul, South Korea
Win 23–15–1 Jan Nortje TKO (punches) Hero's 8 March 12, 2007 1 3:00 Nagoya, Japan
Win 22–15–1 Tadas Rimkevicius TKO (punches) Hero's Lithuania 2006 November 11, 2006 1 4:31 Lithuania
Loss 21–15–1 Heath Herring TKO (punches) Hero's 4 March 15, 2006 2 1:55 Tokyo, Japan
Win 21–14–1 Alan Karaev Submission (forearm choke) Hero's 1 March 26, 2005 1 2:58 Saitama, Saitama, Japan
Win 20–14–1 Sylvester Terkay TKO (punches) K-1 MMA ROMANEX May 22, 2004 1 1:22 Saitama, Saitama, Japan
Win 19–14–1 Don Frye KO (head kick) PRIDE Shockwave 2003 December 31, 2003 1 0:39 Saitama, Saitama, Japan
Win 18–14–1 Dan Bobish TKO (punches) PRIDE Final Conflict 2003 November 9, 2003 1 0:18 Tokyo, Japan
Loss 17–14–1 Fedor Emelianenko TKO (soccer kicks and punches) PRIDE Total Elimination 2003 August 10, 2003 1 1:09 Saitama, Saitama, Japan
Win 17–13–1 Lloyd van Dams TKO (punches) PRIDE Shockwave 2002 August 28, 2002 1 3:39 Tokyo, Japan
Win 16–13–1 Achmed Labasanov Decision (split) PRIDE 21 June 23, 2002 3 5:00 Saitama, Saitama, Japan
Draw 15–13–1 Ebenezer Fontes Braga Draw Inoki Bom-Ba-Ye 2001 December 31, 2001 5 3:00 Saitama, Saitama, Japan Special K-1 vs. Pride rules bout
Win 15–13 Yoshiaki Yatsu TKO (corner stoppage) PRIDE 16 September 24, 2001 1 3:03 Osaka, Japan
Win 14–13 Jan Nortje Submission (armbar) K-1 Andy Memorial 2001 Japan GP Final August 19, 2001 1 1:11 Saitama, Saitama, Japan
Loss 13–13 Antônio Rodrigo Nogueira Submission (triangle choke) PRIDE 15 July 29, 2001 1 2:37 Saitama, Saitama, Japan
Win 13–12 Valentijn Overeem Submission (punches) Pride 14 - Clash of the Titans May 27, 2001 1 2:39 Yokohama, Japan
Win 12–12 Bob Schrijber Submission (kneebar) 2 Hot 2 Handle 2 March 18, 2001 1 2:32 Rotterdam, the Netherlands
Win 11–12 Yoshiaki Yatsu TKO (punches) Pride 11 - Battle of the Rising Sun October 31, 2000 1 8:58 Osaka, Japan
Loss 10–12 Gilbert Yvel KO (head kick) Pride 10 - Return of the Warriors August 27, 2000 1 0:28 Saitama, Saitama, Japan
Loss 10–11 Ricco Rodriguez Decision (unanimous) PRIDE 9 June 4, 2000 2 10:00 Nagoya, Japan
Loss 10–10 Igor Vovchanchyn TKO (punches) PRIDE Grand Prix 2000 Finals May 1, 2000 1 10:14 Tokyo, Japan PRIDE Grand Prix 2000 quarter-final
Win 10–9 Osamu Kawahara Submission (forearm choke) PRIDE Grand Prix 2000 Opening Round January 30, 2000 1 0:51 Tokyo, Japan PRIDE Grand Prix 2000 opening round
Loss 9–9 Tom Erikson Decision (unanimous) PRIDE 8 November 21, 1999 2 10:00 Tokyo, Japan
Loss 9–8 Naoya Ogawa Submission (americana) Pride 6 July 4, 1999 2 0:36 Yokohama, Japan
Win 9–7 Andre Roberts Submission (punch) UFC 19 March 5, 1999 1 0:43 Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, United States
Loss 8–7 Igor Vovchanchyn TKO (punches) Pride 4 October 11, 1998 1 5:58 Tokyo, Japan
Win 8–6 Amir Rahnavardi TKO (punches) PRIDE 3 June 24, 1998 1 7:22 Tokyo, Japan
Loss 7–6 Marco Ruas Submission (heel hook) PRIDE 2 March 15, 1998 1 9:09 Yokohama, Japan
Win 7–5 Oleg Taktarov KO (punch) PRIDE 1 October 11, 1997 1 4:57 Tokyo, Japan
Win 6–5 Pedro Otavio Submission (strikes) International Vale Tudo Championship 1 July 6, 1997 1 16:15 Brazil IVC 1 final.
Win 5–5 Cal Worsham Submission (americana) International Vale Tudo Championship 1 July 6, 1997 1 0:43 Brazil IVC 1 semi-final.
Win 4–5 Augusto Menezes Santos Submission (reverse full-nelson) International Vale Tudo Championship 1 July 6, 1997 1 0:32 Brazil IVC 1 quarter-final.
Loss 3–5 Mario Neto Submission (dehydration) Universal Vale Tudo Fighting 6 March 3, 1997 1 6:02 Brazil
Loss 3–4 Don Frye Submission (fatigue) Ultimate Ultimate 1996 December 7, 1996 1 11:19 Birmingham, Alabama, United States UU 96 quarter-final
Loss 3–3 Mark Coleman Submission (exhaustion) UFC 10 July 12, 1996 1 7:00 Birmingham, Alabama, United States UFC 10 semi-final
Win 3–2 John Campetella KO (punches) UFC 10 July 12, 1996 1 1:28 Birmingham, Alabama, United States UFC 10 quarter-final
Loss 2–2 Mark Schultz TKO (doctor stoppage) UFC 9 May 17, 1996 1 12:00 Detroit, Michigan, United States
Loss 2–1 Don Frye Submission (punches) UFC 8 February 16, 1996 1 2:14 San Juan, Puerto Rico UFC 8 final
Win 2–0 Jerry Bohlander TKO (punches) UFC 8 February 16, 1996 1 5:31 San Juan, Puerto Rico UFC 8 semi-final
Win 1–0 Paul Herrera KO (elbows) UFC 8 February 16, 1996 1 0:13 San Juan, Puerto Rico UFC 8 quarter-final

Kickboxing record[edit]

Kickboxing record

Legend:   Win   Loss   Draw/No contest

See also[edit]


  1. ^ NSAC report of K-1 World Grand Prix 2002 in Las Vegas
  2. ^ [ "Gary Goodridge Profile"] Check |archiveurl= value (help). Archived from the original on 2008-01-01. Retrieved 2007-12-19. 
  3. ^ a b Gary Goodridge Diagnosed with CTE/Pugilistic Dementia; Says No Regrets About His Fighting Life |
  4. ^ The high cost of living dangerously
  5. ^ a b c Erich Krauss, Bret Aita, Brawl: A Behind-the-Scenes Look at Mixed Martial Arts Competition
  6. ^ a b Gary Goodridge, Gatekeeper: The Fighting Life of Gary 'Big Daddy' Goodridge
  7. ^ a b c d "The story behind Gary Goodridge's knockout debut at UFC 8". Bloody Elbow. 2013-02-11. Retrieved 2016-10-10. 
  8. ^ a b Scott Newman (2005-12-05). "MMA Review: #68: UFC 8: David Vs. Goliath". The Oratory. Retrieved 2016-10-10. 
  9. ^ Scott Newman (2005-12-14). "MMA Review: #69: UFC 9: Motor City Madness". The Oratory. Retrieved 2016-10-10. 
  10. ^ Scott Newman (2005-12-19). "MMA Review: #70: UFC 10: The Tournament". The Oratory. Retrieved 2016-10-10. 
  11. ^ Scott Newman (2007-06-14). "UFC: Ultimate Ultimate 1996 review". The Sports Oratory. Retrieved 2016-10-10. 
  12. ^ Fraser Coffeen (2011-08-25). "Gary Goodridge vs. Pedro Otavio and Vicious Groin Attacks". Bloody Elbow. Retrieved 2016-10-10. 
  13. ^ Nate Wilcox (2010-09-10). "Not a Bloody Elbow MMA History Judo Chop: Gary Goodridge Uses "Monkey Steals the Peach" on The Pedro Otavio". Bloody Elbow. Retrieved 2016-10-10. 
  14. ^ Scott Newman (2013-07-31). "MMA Review: #405: PRIDE 1". The Oratory. Retrieved 2017-02-08. 
  15. ^ Scott Newman (2013-09-07). "MMA Review: #409: PRIDE 2". The Oratory. Retrieved 2017-02-08. 
  16. ^ Scott Newman (2013-10-06). "MMA Review: #412: PRIDE 3". The Oratory. Retrieved 2017-02-08. 
  17. ^ Scott Newman (2013-11-25). "MMA Review: #420: PRIDE 3". The Oratory. Retrieved 2017-02-08. 
  18. ^ Rossen, Jake. "Pride Before the Fall". Sherdog. 
  19. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2009-10-14. Retrieved 2009-06-09. , Rank Titles of WKSA Masters, Accessed 6/9/9
  20. ^ Nemeth Gabor Tatar vs. Gary Goodridge Super GP - YouTube

External links[edit]