Gary Goodridge

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Gary Goodridge
Born Gary Henry Goodridge
January 17, 1966 (1966-01-17) (age 50)
Saint James, Trinidad and Tobago
Other names Big Daddy
Nationality CAN Canadian
TRI Trinidadian and Tobagonian
Height 1.90 m (6 ft 3 in)
Weight 240 lb (109 kg; 17 st 2 lb)
Division Super Heavyweight (kickboxing)
Heavyweight (MMA)
Style Kickboxing
Fighting out of Barrie, Ontario, Canada
Team Team Go-Riki
Rank Honorary 4th degree black belt in Kuk Sool Won
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 Goodridge (born January 17, 1966), nicknamed "Big Daddy", is a retired Canadian super heavyweight kickboxer and heavyweight mixed martial artist fighting out of Barrie, Ontario. Goodridge is known for his hard-hitting fighting style and showmanship. Prior to kickboxing and MMA, he was also one of the top ranked contenders in the world of professional arm wrestling.[1] In early 2012 Goodridge was diagnosed with early onset of dementia pugilistica.[2]

Early life

Goodridge was born in Saint James, 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.[3]

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

Ultimate Fighting Championship

In 1996, he was offered status of 4th degree black belt in kuk sool won, and a free dobak, if he would represent their school at the Ultimate Fighting Championship. He took two classes in kuk sool won before making his MMA debut in the eight-man tournament at UFC 8: David vs. Goliath in San Juan, Puerto Rico. In the quarter-finals, he faced wrestler Paul Herrera (whom Goodridge outweighed by nearly 80 lbs) and won in violent fashion by using a "goose neck", the only submission hold he had learned before the event. After Herrera attempted a fireman's carry, Goodridge trapped both of his arms in a crucifix hold and proceeded to deliver multiple elbow blows to the helpless Herrera's head, ending the bout in 13 seconds. The second elbow strike knocked Herrera unconscious, but the fight was not stopped until after Goodridge landed six more strikes. He then went on to faced Jerry Bohlander in the semis, and again won by knockout. In the finals, he took on future legend Don Frye who was trained in boxing, judo and wrestling. After Frye gained dominant position two minutes into the match, Goodridge submitted.

Goodridge returned at UFC 9: Motor City Madness in a non-tournament bout against Olympic wrestler Mark Schultz and lost via technical knockout due to a cut after twelve minutes. On July 12, 1996 at UFC 10: The Tournament, he reached the semi-finals where he submitted to Mark Coleman due to exhaustion after KOing John Campatella in the quarter-finals. His final UFC match came on December 7, 1996 when he lost to Don Frye for a second time at Ultimate Ultimate 1996.

Following this, he travelled to Brazil to compete in vale tudo. On July 6, 1997, he defeated Augusto Menezes Santos, Cal Worsham and Pedro Otavio in the one evening to win the first International Vale Tudo Championship. The final match against Otavio was particularly brutal, as Goodridge defeated him with strikes after grabbing and squeezing Otavio's testicles.

PRIDE Fighting Championships

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 and knocked his opponent out almost five minutes into the match. He returned at PRIDE 2 on March 15, 1998, where he lost to Brazilian vale tudo fighter Marco Ruas. He then recorded a knockout win over Amir Rahnavardi at PRIDE 3, and a KO loss to Igor Vovchanchyn at PRIDE 4 respectively.

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 rubber 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 4 by knckout on March 15, 2006. At HERO'S 8 on March 12, 2007, Goodridge beat South African giant Jan Nortje via TKO. This would be his last professional victory despite going on to compete for a further three years.

Kickboxing career

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.[4] 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.[5] 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

Following 85 fights in his martial arts career, in which he was knocked out 24 times, Goodridge now suffers from dementia pugilistica.[6] 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 cash bribe was not enough, and he lost the fight legitimately.[7]

Championships and accomplishments

Amateur boxing

  • Super Heavyweight Champion of Canada


Kuk Sool Won

  • 4th Degree Black Belt

Mixed martial arts

Mixed Martial Arts Record

Mixed Martial Arts Record

Legend:       Win       Loss       Draw/No contest

Kickboxing record

Kickboxing record

Legend:       Win       Loss       Draw/No contest

See also


External links