Pre-fight interviews with Gary Goodridge is now available online.




Pride Fighting Championships: How's the family life?
Gary Goodridge: Family life is good. I'm training and they help me train. I've had a short time to train and I'm in good shape. I've got a nice manicure and pedicure. I'm good.
PRIDE: You've talked about how long and hard you trained for your last fight and then it went for like a minute or so. Did you train as hard this time?
Goodridge: I didn't have time so I did what I thought I had to do. Didn't train that hard.
PRIDE: Fedor apparently broke his thumb bone on your head when you were fighting.
Goodridge: I'm glad to see that he hurt himself beating on my head. I really pulled out all the stops on my last training session. I was in peak condition so that made it easier to get back in shape this time, even though it was 13 weeks.
PRIDE: Are you going to try to wear this out?
Goodridge: If I tried, I'd probably wear myself out. It's whatever he gives me, I'll take it. If he doesn't give it to me, I'll make it. I feel that I've got more experience. Sure, he's bigger and stronger.
PRIDE: Stamina will probably be a major factor. If he survives the first round, he may get destroyed in the second. He's going to try to run in. With all that muscle he has, he's got to get tired fast.
Tom Erickson: I don't care how good of shape you are in. If you way 340 pounds and you're 5'6", that's a lot of muscle and a lot of lactic acid that jumps on you real quick. Plus, it will be the first time that he's ever fought with 50,000+ people watching him.
PRIDE: He said he was 25 pounds heavier than he wanted to be. He's gotta to be incredibly strong, though. You've got to keep your distance. Run in and grab him as fast as you can.
Goodridge: I've got a good balance of wrestling skills but even if worst comes to worst, I'm on my back for the first 30 seconds. It really doesn't matter. I've got a lot of experience in this game. I can stall him out and tire him out from the bottom.
PRIDE: He was a State wrestling champion.
Erickson: Yeah, division 2 or division 3.
Goodridge: Maybe 200 pounds ago.
Erickson: He wrestled at under 285 then. He had decent college wrestling credentials but that was a lot of pounds ago. I mean, you change your body and walk away from wrestling; it's hard to get it back.
PRIDE: This is his first time to fight for PRIDE so the adrenalin must take a lot of him.
Erickson: When they walk you up the ramp in front of 50 or 60 thousand people, Holy Cow!
PRIDE: The first round must seem like a 30 minute round for him.
Erickson: Plus, fighting in a ring and not in a cage. Fighting in a cage is heaven for a wrestler. Your opponent gets trapped and can't go anywhere. You can pin a guy. Unless you get trapped in a corner, you can slip off the ropes. If you're not used to fighting with ropes in a ring, it's a little tougher. You've got to learn how to use the ropes.
PRIDE: Gary is also the hometown guy here in Japan. Does that matter to you when you hear the crowd on your side?
Erickson: Doesn't matter.
PRIDE: Who do you think will win the GP?
Goodridge: It's a tossup.
Erickson: What are the odds on Yoshida? If I was betting, I'd go with the long odds. You're fighting a guy with a gi. You've got 3 predominantly striking guys and then 1 guy that can cause all kinds of hurt on the ground on just about anybody. Even if you toss out the final decision against Royce, he put Royce in all kinds of bad positions when they fought. Toss what happened at the very end but look what happened to Royce. Maybe Royce lost skills or whatever but he can still grapple. Wanderlei's got to stay very disciplined to his game plan. He can probably make a few mistakes but he'd better stay really disciplined in his game plan. If I were him, I'd watch a little bit of his fight with Tamura and decide what he's going to do. Don't get cute and don't get cocky. Stick with the game plan because if he doesn't...
PRIDE: He can do it. When he fought Cro Cop, he had a good game plan and he stayed with it. Probably his best fight yet, mentally speaking. What about the fact that it's only 2 rounds.
Goodridge: It's still a long round. 3 thai boxing rounds.
Erickson: Wanderlei doesn't have to make a mistake. If Yoshida gets in close and drops him to the ground, anything, it's trouble. He's a guy that can take you down very easily if he makes contact. When guys are sweating it's tough to throw but when one guy has a gi on, it doesn't matter how bad you are sweating. The gi absorbs it and gets tighter.