UFC commentator John Gooden recently took part in a Reddit AMA (ask me anything). He covered a wide array of topics that ranged from his own martial arts experience to who his favorite commentators are to call fights alongside.
The following list details five things we learned from UFC commentator John Gooden's Reddit AMA.
#5 Gooden's martial arts history
One of the first questions was about the validity of rumors that Gooden is a BJJ black belt. The commentator quickly dispelled this. However, as is the case with many involved in MMA media, he does have a certain level of experience in martial arts. He stated:
"You have been very much misinformed!!! I have belts in judo, karate and BJJ, but none of the black variety. I aim to get my black belt one day, though. It has become very important to me. I just hope my body holds out long enough to realize the dream."
#4 Why Gooden doesn't commentate in the US
John Gooden has become a familiar voice in the UFC commentary booth for any event outside of the US. However, he is yet to commentate on an event in the States. Gooden revealed that this is due to him not currently having a US visa and that the UFC already has a surplus of American commentators.
"I dont do any US show as I dont have a visa. They are very expensive. I have actually been talking to some people about it recently though (not the UFC). I'd love to work Stateside, but you have to understand they already have guys locally so its a big expense to bring me over."
#3 Gooden's route to UFC commentator
The typical background of the majority of UFC commentators is that of being a former UFC competitor. Daniel Cormier, Paul Felder, and Michael Bisping are all examples. However, Gooden worked his way up the regional shows, picking up experience behind the mic, before finally getting his big opportunity. He said:
"I came up in the MMA space. I first worked my coach's show in Watford and it developed from there. I didn't just commentate though. I was competing, writing, volunteering and more. I got to Cage Warriors and then put myself in a position to screen test for the UFC."
#2 Favourite commentator to work with
The UFC has some of the best commentators in the whole sport, and Gooden has had the opportunity to work with many of them. One of the questions posed was who is his favorite UFC commentator to cover and call fights alongside. He stated:
"I obviously loved working with (Dan) Hardy. (Paul) Felder is excellent all round and we have a laugh too. DC brings that big personality and champion title. He's also fun. I've only worked with (Michael) Bisping and (Brian) Stann once, but both were positive experiences."
#1 Future of 'Inside the Octagon' following Dan Hardy's UFC release
In addition to his commentary duties, Gooden serves as one half of the UFC's Inside the Octagon (ITO) YouTube show. In the past, Gooden worked alongside former UFC fighter turned commentator and analyst Dan Hardy. However, Hardy was recently released by the UFC following a reported disagreement Hardy had with a UFC staff member.
Gooden was asked what it has been like with Hardy's release and whether Laura Sanko is set to be his permanent replacement. He stated the following:
"I cant say anything about what transpired as its not my business. I can say that I enjoyed working with Dan. I'm upset that the partnership we built over 7 years is no more."
"Laura has featured twice on ITO, but we have had other analysts too. I enjoy working with Laura. I feel we came into this in a similar way and I think she occupies an important position in MMA. She brings really solid analysis to that show."
"Honestly, I think the rotation idea is great for the fans. We get to hear different opinions from really great fight minds. I just wish people would give us a chance now that Dan is no longer with us."