Interview: UFC commentator John Gooden talks music, MMA analysis, Veganism and more

John Gooden UFC

One on One: John Gooden Edition

I recently chatted with UFC commentator John Gooden, Gooden can be found cage side; calling the action at most of the European UFC events. He also co-hosts the ‘Inside the Octagon’ UFC show with his partner in crime Dan Hardy. The show has proved to be a huge success, with the most recent episode racking up over 380,000 views.

John Gooden has been working the mic for the UFC for three years now and he only seems to be getting better with time, acting like a fine wine. One of Gooden’s best traits is his chemistry with Dan Hardy, they work meticulously together and they manage to bring excitement and knowledge to every broadcast.

I began our conversation by asking John ‘What’s been your favourite moment in MMA so far’

I’m terrible at this. Well, taking the phone call to say I got the UFC gig was obviously huge. Then I think a few fights that stand out are Bisping vs Silva in London, Jędrzejczyk VS Penne in Germany and Gustafsson VS Teixeira in Stockholm; ending with Gustafsson proposing to his now fiancé.

What was the first MMA event you ever watched and what about it made you want to come back to watch again?

I’m not sure exactly. I do remember being in Japan sorting out flights next to the Nogueira brothers around 2000. I really got into the sport around ‘The ultimate fighter’ I also remember watching Leigh Remedios and James Zikic on U.K TV which encouraged me to start training. Zikic is from Watford too.

Apart from MMA do you pay much attention to other sports, or do you have a hobby you enjoy?

I enjoy watching grappling, Muay Thai and boxing. I’m a sports guy though I don’t get much time to invest in the other sports, given my work in MMA. I’m not complaining though. I also enjoy obstacle races and I support Arsenal (Soccer Team) I’m also a triathlete I did an Iron man last year.

If you were going to a ‘Deserted island’ what item would you take with you?

My corrective contact lenses.

What happens if you need to run to the toilet during a 7-hour broadcast?

You better be fast! I’m becoming renowned for my toilet breaks and sprints. I nearly stacked it really bad in Sao Paulo as the floor was wet. Fortunately, I have feet like skis and I found an edge.

What made you decide to become a vegan?

Being involved in MMA gave me a real interest in nutrition. After a really bad back injury and many years on the side-line I was seeking ways of healing. This led me to some eastern ideas and then onto veganism. The compassionate side really blew me away and I haven’t eaten animal products since.

What type of music do you listen to?

A real mix, but I’m always drawn back to more urban music. My wife used to work for Mercury records so I’ve been to many gigs. I might not look it, but these days I’m pretty big into grime.

Do you play any video games or have a favorite TV Show?

I used to be a sports gamer, then more strategic stuff. I might explore those again. I do like a boxset of Game Of Thrones, Power, Cold Feet, Luther, Narcos and Vice content.

If you didn’t get into MMA, where do you think you’d be?

Lost. Martial arts have, on and off, been a part of my life since I was 7. I enjoy motor racing so maybe that. Otherwise, I reckon I’d either be project managing in either construction or the city.

What’s the worst part of your job?

The ridiculous levels of fame. I have to wear a disguise in my own home!

Huge thanks to John Gooden for doing the interview, you can follow him on Twitter or Instagram @johngoodenuk

If you’d like us to keep these interviews a regular thing let us know, and be sure to recommend future questions.

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