Welterweight Prospect Jared Gooden Believes He Needs One More Win to Earn UFC Call

By Cole Shelton Feb 11, 2019

Jared Gooden is currently riding a six-fight winning streak but isn’t so sure the UFC will be calling next. 

Gooden is coming off of a decision win over Steven Newell in the Legacy Fighting Alliance 59 co-main event on Feb. 1. Originally, he was expected to fight in the evening’s headliner against Kyle Stewart. However, after Stewart was called up to the UFC, Gooden fought Newell instead. 

“It was a good fight. I’m just upset I didn’t get the finish, especially now looking back on it, because I know I could’ve,” Gooden said to Sherdog.com. “But, it was a good fight. I showed my evolution in the fight game. He took me down, but I stuffed takedowns and was able to get back up which I wasn’t able to early in my career. I have shown my progression and I’m happy with that. Just to definitely let my hands go more and work the body. Just keep progressing, and not drop my hands as I got clipped once.”

There were moments in the fight that it looked like Gooden would finish his opponent. However, Newell proved to be durable and stayed in there. But, it was a learning experience for Gooden given he was making his LFA debut. 

“It was awesome man. I have ADD so I love the attention,” he said. “I love it and I can’t wait to do it again. Like I love being in front of the cameras. That was the first thing my family realized was that when I stepped in the cage and saw the camera was on me I immediately started smiling. I’m meant to be on TV and meant for the world to see me. I loved every second of it and can’t wait to do it again.”

Although he dominated the fight, Gooden thinks he will not be in the UFC next because he missed weight. He has no excuses for the mishap. Instead, he plans to move on and make weight in his next fight. 

"I have offers and I will go with the best offer that will get the most paid and get me the most exposure,” Gooden said. “I know I’m on the UFC radar but sadly I can admit I missed weight, and I know that will hinder my chances to get into the UFC. With that, I know I will need another fight before they call me. Whatever fight gets me the most exposure. I’m just ready to fight.”

Gooden was offered a bout in Titan FC against Uros Jurisic, the promotion’s welterweight champion. Gooden was interested, but Jurisic turned the fight down, as he wanted more time. Now, Gooden is waiting for who calls next. 

“I’m always hoping the UFC calls. UFC or Bellator. But, yeah, LFA, Titan, I have offers. I was actually offered to fight the Titan champion on March 15 but my manager texted me saying the champion wouldn’t be ready for me,” Gooden explained. “In my mind, like what are you doing? You are the champion of Titan, you aren’t the champion of the UFC. I don’t have off days. If you are a champion in a smaller promotion, you aren’t making much money, so why can’t you be ready? This is the fight game and this is the career we choose. It’s my mind-boggling to me, so shoutout to whoever the 170-pound champion is in Titan, you are a bitch.”

Gooden is back in the gym waiting for the next opportunity. He may very well fight in LFA again, but this time fight for the vacant welterweight championship. The plan for Gooden is to fight once more and either get signed to the UFC or get on the Contender Series this summer. 

“I just want to fight as many times as I can. My goal is to fight seven times a year,” he said. “If the Contender Series will have me I’m down. If I can get in front of Dana White, he is signing me that night. I was hoping he would be at LFA that night. If I’m in the same room as him, I’m going to talk him into signing me right there. I’m a hot commodity, 13-2, nine finishes. I just want to fight in front of Dana White and show him how great I am.”


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