Jonathan Goulet on Ringside, Zahabi, TKO, and Much More
Jonathan “The Road Warrior” Goulet was kind enough to take some time out of his busy training schedule and talk with TopMMAnews.com, here’s what Jonathan had to say about his November 13th Ringside title fight with Chris Clements, his time in TKO and he even spoke about his turbulent times with former manager/promoter Stephane Patry.
TMN: So what challenges does facing a fighter like Chris Clements pose for you?
JG: “Chris is very aggressive; he is a great challenge for me. He doesn’t have a lot of experience but I’ve seen him fight…he’s pretty good. I think he has some weaknesses in wrestling and on the ground… but he punches really hard and I have to be careful.”
TMN: Lately we’ve seen a new Road Warrior in the cage especially in your most recent fight with Matt MacGrath. How have you changed up your game coming off the UFC release?
JG: “For me, the changes I have made to my game is to be slower… I take more time now than before. I just had a good opportunity to knock him (MacGrath) out… early in the first round. But now I’m more careful and study my opponent and when I see an opening I do what I have to do.”
TMN: You took most of 2009 off, what is the difference between the Jonathan Goulet of 2008 and the Jonathan Goulet of 2010?
JG: “I’ve worked a lot on my wrestling and all my stuff with Firas Zahabi since I moved. I have more skill and like I said I’m more patient… Before I was rushing all my fights and that’s why I got knocked down by Swick and Duane Ludwig because I was going in head first and I didn’t really care what was going to happen to me… And now I think I’m smarter than before.”
TMN: How was the transition from Team Legion to the Zahabi Camp?
JG: “It was easy…in both camps we were working on submissions and positions on the ground. We were doing a lot of ground and pound but the only thing it was hard to work on in Victoriaville with Team Legion was my wrestling… in Montreal (Zahabi Camp) they’re a lot better…”
TMN: What do you attribute to Firas Zahabi success in training MMA fighters?
JG: “… He’s an awesome teacher and coach. He has an incredible team and he has a lot of skills in wrestling and all the aspects of the game… He’s just an awesome teacher… I didn’t know that before I moved… He (Firas Zahabi) wasn’t really known, he never fought MMA…He’s awesome. He’s just so good; I have nothing else to say. If I would have known how good he was I would have moved a few years ago, Maybe 2005 or 2006.”
TMN: Was there any bad blood when you left Team Legion or do you still keep in contact with those guys?
JG: “I’m still in contact with them… the only reason I moved was because of one fight against Dustin Hazelett, I trained alone in Victoriaville. When I say alone it was with a punching bag, with a dummy on the ground and for wrestling it was the same, I was alone. So when I lost that fight I decided to move… I was really mad because of the situation but I didn’t have to be mad because for where they (Team Legion) are in the summer everyone is working in farms and things like that, that was normal, it was normal that no one was there… But you know I was really mad, but now it’s OK.”
TMN: Where do you expect to see yourself down the road, back in the UFC or maybe to a Strikeforce or a Bellator?
JG: “If I wanna make more money of course I wanna go back to the UFC or maybe Strikeforce… I want to take the big fights; we’ll see what happens in the next year. For me now I only think about Chris Clements and this weekend. Then once, knock on wood, I win that fight I’ll think about other things.”
TMN: Is there a special sense of pride for you when you fight in front of your home town fans?
JG: “Yes, I really like to fight here. I wish I will be their (Ringside MMA) champion… But if you wanna make money, it’s all about (fighting in) the States. It’s all about big shows like the UFC and for real I do this because I like it, but I’m also doing this to make money… I will not fight until I’m 55 you know… I’m doing this to make a lot of money and live well. But you know fighting here in Quebec has always been a lot of fun. It was my dream especially my first fight for the UFC here in Montreal.”
TMN: Why don’t you tell us a little about the early days of TKO and what they meant to you?
JG: “I did my fight against Jeff Joslin and I earned my nickname after that fight. That was my first fight at 170 lbs and it was a hard fight. Because of me it was a controversial fight. Everybody was thinking Jeff Joslin would win but I won… I think because of that fight it helped a lot for commission to change to 3 round of 5 minutes, because at that time it was 2 rounds of 5 minutes… that was hard, I don’t really remember the crowd because I was so stressed… the first step I made in the ring, I felt me knee… I almost fell to the ground because I had no legs, I was nervous.”
TMN: What other fond memories do you have of TKO?
JG: “Even if I said some bad things about the promoter (Stephane Patry) who was my manager. He did so many great things for MMA. I have to remember that there were great experiences. He brought me to the Bell Centre, to UFC shows so I’m really proud to have been part of what was TKO and UCC proving ground… I just didn’t make money with them, because at that time we were fighting for a bedroom, a hotel room, for the money to pay the gas and we were fighting just to be able to eat that day, so that was fucked up.”
TMN: Do you still keep in contact with Stephane Patry?
JG: “No we’re not anymore in contact… I’m surprised I’m not saying any bull shit about him because he did about me in another interview… But I know that guy a lot but I prefer to think about what he did great for the sport and for me.”
TMN: You are still a young guy in the sport but you have had over 30 fights. How much longer do you see yourself actively competing in the fight game?
JG: “I plan to fight until 35, but like I said to my girlfriend if I make money like GSP makes money at 35, I will not retire. But I for now, I really think I’ll retire at 35.”
TMN: You have a girlfriend and an 11 year old daughter, how do you juggle the personal life with the chaotic schedule of a professional fighter?
JG: “I’ve always been a father since I’ve been a fighter. I did hang out with friends but when I was with my daughter, I was staying with my daughter. I think it was better for me then hanging out with them (his friends) and getting hungover… When I was younger, I was drinking like them, a lot. For me it was really hard to train in the morning and do my sparring because I was hungover and I decided by myself to stop doing that (drinking alcohol).”
TMN: In closing, Jonathan do you have any final comments for the fans or your opponent Saturday night?
JG: “I’m not a good seller, I’m not a Brock Lesnar, I’m not a wrestler… But the only thing I have to say before my fight, I know a lot of the guys that will be fighting and it will be a good show from beginning to end so if you want to see that, just log on to ringsidemma.tv and you can get info on how to watch it live on PPV.”
Ringside 9 Lineup