In a career that spans over 30 fights, Jonathan Goulet has seen it all. He's faced some of the best of the welterweight division including Josh Koscheck and Dustin Hazelett and holds wins over UFC veterans like John Alessio, Shonie Carter, Tony Fryklund, Jay Hieron and Luke Cummo.
Most recently, "The Road Warrior" (22-9) added one more feat to his resume: Earning "Fight of the Night" honors (and the whopping $75K that went along with it) for his fantastic performance against Kuniyoshi Hironaka at UFC 83: "Serra vs. St. Pierre II."
Goulet now hopes to end the 2008 fight year by checking off one more goal on his list: Beating a top contender in the UFC's stacked welterweight division. He'll have his chance when he faces Mike "Quick" Swick (12-2) this Wednesday night, December 10, at UFC Fight Night 16: "Fight for the Troops."
The event takes place at the Crown Coliseum in Fayetteville, NC and airs free on Spike TV starting at 9:00 p.m. ET. It features the main event welterweight fight between Josh Koscheck and Yoshiyuki "Zenko" Yoshida as well as an exciting lightweight bout between Matt Wiman and Jim Miller.
Goulet and Swick were originally slated to face off at Fight Night 11 back in September 2007 after Goulet had goaded Swick into taking the fight by calling him out on online message board. Swick however had to pull out of the fight due to a rib injury and was replaced by Dustin Hazelett.
We recently caught up with Goulet to ask him about those online taunts, the bad blood (if any) between the two fighters and to find out what he has in store for his fans heading into 2009.
Let's do this thing.
Adam Wagner (MMAmania.com): Your UFC 83 fight with Kuniyoshi Hironaka earned "Fight of the Night" honors and $75,000 bonus money. How did it feel to earn the extra scratch, while also getting the nod from the UFC that they liked your fight?
Jonathan Goulet: That was really good. It was good timing because I needed the money, so that was fun for me. And for being honored by the UFC with the "Fight of the Night" is always good. With this, I know that I can keep my job.
Adam Wagner (MMAmania.com): You had to pull out of your UFC 85 fight against Paul Kelly. I've read that it was due to "undisclosed health concerns," but I've also read that there was not enough time for you to prepare for the fight. What exactly happened there?
Jonathan Goulet: I got injured. I got injured, and because of that, I was unable to prepare myself (in time) for the fight.
Adam Wagner (MMAmania.com): Okay, so it was due to injury?
Jonathan Goulet: Yes.
Adam Wagner (MMAmania.com): But you're healed up now?
Jonathan Goulet: Yes, 100%.
Adam Wagner (MMAmania.com): Good. For your next fight, have you been training at Tristar Gym in Montreal?
Jonathan Goulet: Yeah sure. I'm training down there full time. I'm doing Muay Thai, MMA and wrestling.
Adam Wagner (MMAmania.com): Have you brought in any new coaches or training partners to help you prepare for this fight?
Jonathan Goulet: Sure, I had private coaches for Muay Thai, wrestling and MMA. But I also train with my teammates, GSP, David Loiseau, Nordine Taleb and Denis Kang.
Adam Wagner (MMAmania.com): Do you train with Patrick Cote as well?
Jonathan Goulet: Yes, but last time he re-injured himself, so I haven't been able to train with him for this fight.
Adam Wagner (MMAmania.com): What's it like to train with GSP, Loiseau and those other guys?
Jonathan Goulet: It's good because they always kick my ass and get me ready in training. Those guys are always helpful. They are strong, fast and have a lot of tools. And I am able to apply some technique on them. I'm very happy. It made my week (training with them).
Adam Wagner (MMAmania.com): You were supposed to fight Mike Swick back at Fight Night 11 in September 2007, however Swick had to pull out due to a rib injury. When you called out Swick on the message boards to get that fight, it was largely seen as you goading him into a fight. Is that the case, or are there any hard feelings between the two of you?
Jonathan Goulet: No, there are no hard feelings. You know, I went on the Web because ... you know, when I received a call from my manager, Ken Pavia, he asked me if I wanted to fight Mike Swick. So I said, "Yes." Then we received a call from his manager, and they did not accept the fight. So my manager called me back, and he told me that (Swick) didn't accept the fight because I wasn't as good as they wanted. So between those calls, I talked to David Loiseau and told him that I was going to fight (Swick). So when I received the call from my manager and said that I wasn't going to fight him, Loiseau told me to write this on the Web ... to write things on the Web. So I think one or two hours later, I got the call, because at that time (Swick) was mad at me. He was pissed off and wanted to fight me.
Adam Wagner (MMAmania.com): (Laughs.) Well, it was an excellent effort to help hype the fight. So the strategy worked. What problems, if any, do you see Swick bringing to the table for you?
Jonathan Goulet: He is an aggressive fighter and has long reach. But I don't see any problems because I can't be surprised. All that he can do I saw all this on TV. So we have a good game plan for that kind of fighter. I worked too on my weaknesses, so I will be ready for the fight.
Adam Wagner (MMAmania.com): In order to counter his reach advantage, do you see going to the ground as a good strategy?
Jonathan Goulet: It might be a good strategy. I won't talk about my game plan. But I bring my Muay Thai coach (with me) here. I didn't bring my jiu-jitsu or wrestling coach. (Laughs.) So I'm here to bang with him, and we'll see if we go to the ground.
Adam Wagner (MMAmania.com): With a win, Swick could really make a statement that he is a top contender in the UFC's welterweight division. However, you are riding a three-fight win streak and have extensive experience in mixed martial arts dating back to 2001. What would a win over Swick bring for you?
Jonathan Goulet: My dream. It would be a dream come true. He's not in the top 10 (in the world) in the welterweight division. But I think after beating him, I will be near or in the top 10. It's where I want to be before the end of the year. So it will be a kind of goal reached.
Adam Wagner (MMAmania.com): You'll be fighting as part of the UFC's effort to help raise money for injured war veterans. What does that mean to you?
Jonathan Goulet: It's always important to be generous for people who need help. It's like my sponsor, MMA Fight Shop . Without them, I wouldn't be here to talk about my fights with you. So without us helping them, they might not be able to feed their children or pay their bills. So it's very important, I think. I don't really know things (the specifics) about that situation, but I think it's a good thing for them.
Adam Wagner (MMAmania.com): You've been fighting professionally since 2001. Looking ahead at 2009, what do you think needs to happen to get you to that next level where you are considered one of the elite welterweights in the game?
Jonathan Goulet: I wish that I will be injury-free, knock on wood. I hope to be able to fight four or five times in 2009. I like to be busy. I don't like to be sitting on my couch and doing nothing. I need goals, I need to have a contract and to have to deal with this. I need to see (what's coming). I need to know who is going to be my next opponent and to train well and more, because that's my job. That's what I want.
Adam Wagner (MMAmania.com): Well if you're last fight with Hironaka is any indication of what the future holds, you always put on exciting fights. I was lucky enough to see that fight live in Montreal, and it was just a really exciting show. I look forward to seeing more of you. I wanted to leave you with an opportunity to thank any sponsors or if you have any parting words for your fans on what they can expect in your fight with Swick.
Jonathan Goulet: I'd like to thank MMA Fight Shop . Without them, like I said before, I wouldn't be able to be here, because they help me pay my coaches and everything. And for my coaches, I'd like to thank the Tristar Gym and Gia Sissaouri, my wrestling coach. My conditioning coach is Jonathan Chaimberg, the same as GSP's. He is amazing. And also thanks to Olivier Renaud, my Muay Thai coach.