UFC signs top welterweight prospect Jared Gooden, faces Alan Jouban November 21st.
Welterweight just added a new name to its deep division. Top prospect Jared Gooden (17-4 MMA) has signed with the UFC and will face Alan Jouban ( 16-7 MMA, 7-5 UFC) on August 22nd in Las Vegas at the UFC Apex. Line Movement’s James Lynch caught up with Gooden to speak about his UFC debut and upcoming bout versus Jouban.
On fighting Alan Jouban for his UFC debut:
“Alan Jouban is an amazing fighter. I’ve been watching him for a very long time. Now, I’ve just watched him with a fighters eye.. just picking him apart. He’s a great fighter. I can’t wait to go out there and just perform and have fun with it. This isn’t a job, this is a game to me. I’m having fun and I can’t wait to just go out there and win.“
Gooden, 26, joins the UFC roster with a 17-4 professional record, which has seen him finish 13 of his 17 wins inside the distance. Out of those finishes, 7 have come by way of KO/TKO, and 6 by submission. UFC fans can expect an entertaining show when the man known as “Nite Train” fights under the bright lights of the octagon.
Will Gooden’s lengthy regional experience pay dividends in UFC debut?
“Honestly, I can’t answer that because I haven’t been under the UFC lights. Just getting an opportunity.. I feel like a kid on Christmas morning times 10. I can’t wait until I’m actually in the cage feeling the ground, seeing the three letters ‘UFC’ on the ground and then standing across from Alan Jouban. I can’t say it’s not gonna affect me, I’d be lying. It’s gonna affect me, I’m sure, and I just hope I’m able to channel it to my benefit to put on a better performance out there against Alan Jouban”
As recently as July, Gooden was seen headlining Titan FC 62 on UFC Fight Pass, where he defeated Trent McCown by 2nd round TKO.
After his main event win, Gooden got on the mic and asked for his UFC shot. A few days later, the call came.
On expectations for Gooden’s UFC debut performance:
“Great card and opponent for my debut. I’m a huge fan of Alan Jouban. I don’t believe I’ll get starstruck out there. Can’t wait to punch him in the face, even though I watched most of his career in the UFC. It’s awesome. Now I just can’t wait to go out there and play with him. It’s gonna be an awesome night. I thank the UFC for the opportunity. I love the test. He’s like a twelve fight UFC vet, it’s my debut. Thank you for the test and I can’t wait to go out there and pass with flying colors.”
Still young, at 26 years-of-age, Gooden brings a lot of experience into his UFC debut. He has already competed in many of the top regional promotions such as LFA, Titan FC, NFC, and Island Fights.
Gooden turned pro at age 21, and has been one of the most active fighters on the regional scene in his quest for a big league opportunity. “Nite Train” competed 5 times a year in both 2016 and 2019.
Now in 2020, Gooden is coming off a perfect 2-0 start to the year, with 2 finishes, and is looking to add to that total later this month in his UFC debut.