MMA pioneer Gary Goodridge reflects on fighting Fedor Emelianenko and his greatness during his prime (Exclusive)

Gary Goodridge [Left], and Gary Goodridge vs. Fedor Emelianenko [Right] [Photo credit: @fightonline001 - Twitter]
Gary Goodridge [Left], and Gary Goodridge vs. Fedor Emelianenko [Right] [Photo credit: @fightonline001 - Twitter]

Gary Goodridge recently reflected on his fight with Fedor Emelianenko and described what made the legendary heavyweight so great during his prime.

During an exclusive interview with Sportskeeda MMA, Goodridge spoke about fighting Emelianenko at Pride Total Elimination 2003, which took place in front of over 40,000 fans at the Saitama Super Arena. The UFC 8 tournament runner-up explained what made the then Pride heavyweight champion different:

"He was the best back [in Pride] simply because he did everything really well. Like, Mark Coleman, great wrestler, can't really hit that well. That's how we were, either you were this or that. I was a striker, I was good on the ground...You know, he did everything well." [16:09 - 16:28]

'Big Daddy' also described the experience fighting 'The Last Emperor' and noted that it wasn't a great night for him. Despite the loss, he mentioned that he learned something from the Pride heavyweight champion in terms of his approach to the fight, saying:

"I really didn't even have a chance...He's laid back and stayed calm...really calm and then he rushed you at a hundred percent...All of a sudden a hundred percent and he was all over you, so I wasn't ready for that from him at all. I got clipped right away, so went down right away. It was an awful fight for me." [15:07 - 15:43]

Emelianenko defeated Goodridge via first-round TKO after landing vicious ground-and-pound that included punches and soccer kicks.

Check out the full interview:

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Gary Goodridge opens up about promoting MMA in Africa

Gary Goodridge is passionate about giving back to the sport and is doing so in Africa as he helps promote AFC 2: Clash of the Titans Kenya vs. Uganda.

The MMA pioneer is involved in this venture with African Fighting Championship in order to grow the sport and showcase the talent in Africa. During the affromentioned interview, he described his reasoning for wanting to grow the sport on the continent, saying:

"I believe that Africa is an untapped market for this [MMA]. You have to go where nobody...has something going on over there. There's a lot of other groups that are there, but I'm planning on trying to take over. Their blueprint's already been made for success." [1:13 - 1:38]

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Edited by Micah Curtis
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