Jonathan Goulet will have a huge opportunity in front of himself when he faces off with heavy favorite Mike Swick in the co-main event at tonight’s “UFC Fight for the Troops” card. A win over Swick, who has put together a perfect 2-0 record since making the move to welterweight, would catapult Goulet up the ranks in the UFC’s 170 pound division.
In an exclusive interview with FiveOuncesOfPain.com, Goulet explained that he has absolutely no championship aspirations for the time being. While his good friend and training partner Georges St. Pierre occupies UFC’s welterweight thrown, Goulet is content to be considered as one of the top fighters in his weight class.
“The Road Warrior” has never made it a habit to fight unqualified opponents so tonight’s fight with Swick should be business as usual. Goulet has fought a virtual who’s who in his weight class during the course of his career. Coming into his fight with Swick he has already tested himself against guys like Josh Koscheck, John Alessio, Dustin Hazelett, Jay Hieron and Luke Cummo with mixed results.
Timing can be everything. In a career that has spanned over seven years and has seen over 30 fights the time is definitely now for Goulet to let the world know that will be a problem for anyone at 170 pounds. Undefeated in his last three bouts with his last fight with Kuniyoshi Hironaka grabbing “Fight of the Night” honors, a win over Swick would force a lot of welterweights in the UFC to take notice.
Although the outstanding battle Goulet waged with Hironaka on the undercard of UFC 83 garnered him some well deserved attention and put a little bit of extra cash in his pocket, it did not come easily. The 29-year old fighter was rocked by a huge Hironaka left hand towards the closing moments of the first round and looked close to being finished just before the round came to an end.
“I was hurt bad,” said Goulet. “It was the worst last minute of my life. I got saved by the bell and I can’t describe it. It was like a nightmare. I saw the referee near me ready to stop the fight. I didn’t know that he stopped us because the round was over.”
Returning to his corner admittedly dazed and sporting a nasty mouse under right eye, Goulet knew that he had to do something drastic and that’s exactly what he came out and did. He started the second round with a visible sense of urgency and finished dangerous Japanese fighter with a whirlwind of strikes in one of the better welterweights wars in recent history.
“I got saved by the bell and that made me even more angry so I came out and finished the fight,” he explained.
His somewhat slow start in the bout with Hironaka came as no surprise to the Quebec-based fighter.
“I don’t know why but I always start out slowly in my fights,” said Goulet. “I always get in trouble and then I come back and finish the fight.”
All in all he is happy that the fight went the way it did because obtaining “Fight of the Night” honors is the ultimate goal for Goulet every time he enters the octagon. The fact that “Fight of the Night” implies that the winner will most likely have to come back from the brink of defeat before obtaining victory doesn’t bother him one bit.
“I wish I could get another fight of the night,” said Goulet. “Like when Dustin Hazelett said that he would rather have the submission of the night, I would much rather have the fight of the night. The fight with Hironaka was my second fight of the night so I hope to have a third.”
After fighting eight times in 2007 Goulet fought only twice in 2008 and has not entered the octagon since his war with Hironaka.
“I took some time off to train but unfortunately at the beginning of the year I injured myself,” explained Goulet. “I broke my foot twice on Patrick Cote during training.”
The time off gave Goulet some extra time to focus on a lot of the things he may not have been able to focus on had he kept up the same rigorous schedule as he had the previous year.
“I’ve been able to train for four months since that injury so I have been improving on a lot of things,” said Goulet. “I’ll be ready for my fight with Mike Swick.”
He’s had plenty of great people at the Tristar Gym in to help prepare him for this high profile bout.
“I’ve been training a lot with Denis Kang, Georges St. Pierre, Patrick Cote, and Mike Ricci,” said Goulet. “Ricci is a guy that a lot of people don’t know but he’s very well rounded. I have my muay thai and wrestling trainers and many other fighters that I train with as well. I am well surrounded.”
All of that hard work with many of Canada’s top mixed martial artists has paid off. Goulet is oozing with confidence going into his fight tonight.
“I feel perfect,” the seasoned fighter said. “My weight is perfect. Everything is perfect. I have worked very hard for this. I will be ready for my fight so I hope Swick will be ready for me.”
Styles make fights and this fight should be no exception. Swick will surely be looking to put on an impressive performance and as previously mentioned, Goulet is no stranger to an all out brawl.
“I think it’s a very good match up,” said Goulet. “He’s very good and he has a really good reach but I am very skilled as well. We have worked on my weaknesses and I think that’s the most important thing.”
“I think it will be a good war between me and him. I think Swick is no joke but it’s time to prove that I am no joke as well.”
If Goulet has it his way there will be a decisive ending in this bout.
“I hope to apply a big and beautiful submission on him and to finish the fight as soon as I can,” said Goulet.
After his “Fight of the Night” performance against Hironaka was the opening bout at UFC 83, it seems fitting that Goulet will have his opportunity to shine on the main card tonight. According to him the timing couldn’t be better.
“I’m really excited to be on the main card,” said Goulet. “My management told me that I would have a bunch of sponsors and the timing is perfect. It’s Christmas time so hopefully I can use that and go on vacation or offer some gifts for my family and especially my daughter. It’s perfect.”
Goulet has admittedly seen his ups and downs in his career. He hopes for this fight on the main card to be a sign of whats to come for himself in the future.
“Sometimes it goes well but other times it has gone bad for me,” said Goulet. “I just want to stay in top shape and focused so I can win my fight and always be on the main card.”
Just being on the main card and being considered among the best in his weight class is good enough for him. In a sport where training partners are increasingly likely to have to fight each other at one point or another, Goulet explains that he would never fight a friend under any circumstances.
“I don’t care about the title shot,” explained Goulet. “My friend, Georges St. Pierre, has the title. I will always be behind him in Canada and in the world so it will always be like this. That’s good enough for me. If I can be in the top five at my weight then I will be happy. I just want to fight, make money, pay my bills and be known as a good fighter. I would like to be a top welterweight. I stopped thinking about the title a long time ago and now I just want to be among the top at my weight.”
In closing, Goulet thanked MMA Fight Shop, MMA Agents and Tristar Gym.