Jared Gooden knows he will still be fighting on February 1 despite his originally scheduled opponent, Kyle Stewart, getting the last minute call to the UFC to fight this Saturday.
“I’m happy for him, it is everybody’s dream to get signed to the UFC,” Gooden said to MyMMANews.com. “But, I am a little disappointed because I wanted the fight. LFA told me they are looking for a replacement so I believe I will be fighting for February 1.”
“I have my manager talking right now about it,” he added. “I should be fighting for the belt, and I love gold. Gold makes me look lighter. I hope whoever it is who steps up, it is for the belt and we can put on a show.”
Although Gooden doesn’t have an opponent, he still is continuing on with his training camp. He knows he will get an opponent and win the fight, whether it is for the belt or not. Then, he expects that the UFC will be calling.
“Yes, sir and they also sign a lot of LFA champions,” he said. “That is a reason why I want to fight for the belt. It will be the main event, the nation will watch this and I hope Dana White tunes in. I am a very exciting fighter and I want to show him what I can do.
“I just want to prove to everyone that I am the best in the world and LFA is a good start. I would love for it to be for the belt and then go on contender series next,” he continued. “I have been trying to go on contender series for a while, if it takes too long I will try PFL, Bellator, really whoever wants me can get me. If I have to go through organizations I will.”
Before any of that can happen, Gooden needs to win his LFA debut. He is ready to show fans who may have never watched him what he is all about. He wants to show them how vicious of a fighter he truly is. But for Gooden, it is more than fighting.
“I just came through a very dark part of my life, the darkest part of my life and I am finally out of it and I’m finally getting back into the cage. It will be so rewarding,” he said. “Whoever my opponent is, is gonna feel all the time I have taken off. I just can’t wait to go out there and let it all out. I feel the most alive when I am in the cage.”
Ultimately, Gooden is back and ready to fight again. He wants to fight seven times a year, if possible. For now, the focus is on this fight and continuing to show the world he is a threat no matter where the fight goes.
“I’m proving that I am the best. If you want to go to the ground, I’m a brown belt, and I have submissions,” he said. “If you want to stand and bang with me, you will regret it. I am very versatile, I can do it all. Wherever the fight goes, I am prepared. What’s funny, is I love submissions more because there is something sexy about making somebody quit, somebody tap out. I love submissions more but don’t get me wrong I will knock anybody out if the opportunity presents itself.”
Gooden remains in the gym daily preparing for his LFA debut. Although he is focused on his fight, he already knows this is just a stepping stone and he will be fighting in the UFC by the end of 2019.
“100%. There is no way not to,” Gooden said. “I will beat up whoever they put in front of me in LFA for the belt or not. If they want to sign me again for the belt, I’ll do it. Then, I’ll go on contender series and knockout whoever is there. I’m going to fight in front of Dana White and sign before the year is up.
“That is all I need, go out there and show them who the ‘Nite Train’ is. Choo Choo motherf*****s I’m coming,” he concluded.
Cole Shelton covers MMA for BJPenn.com, MMANews, and MyMMANews.com while also being the lead MMA odds writer for Sports Betting Dime