UFC 255 will host two championship fights on a big night for the flyweight division. Deiveson Figueiredo will defend his flyweight title against Alex Perez, and Valentina Shevchenko will defend her flyweight title against Jennifer Maia. Also on the card is Tim Means vs Mike Perry, Katlyn Chookagian vs Cynthia Calvillo, Brandon Moreno vs Brandon Royval, and much more. Jared Gooden, who was supposed to fight earlier this year but suffered an injury, also appears. He will now be making his debut against the returning UFC vet Alan Jouban (16-7 MMA, 7-5 UFC).
Jared “Nite Train” Gooden
Atlanta, Georgia, US
How will Gooden fare in the UFC:
Gooden is an action fighter with 13 finishes in his 17 wins. On the feet, Gooden at times looks sharp and composed. On the other hand, sometimes Gooden can throw a bit too wild and when his back is against the cage, he is there to be hit.
Having competed for promotions like Titan FC, Gooden has a well-arranged attack on the feet. He throws a good lead knee, has a good Thai clinch, excellent leg kicks, and mixes in body shots into small combinations. His ability to take a shot is a question, as defensively he holds his chin right out there and his hands are low at times, or too wide. He’s only been finished by strikes once, but it was a bad look getting sparked right off the bat — and that loss wasn’t too long ago.
While Gooden has tight hands, he tends to rush forward blindly. Three of his four losses are the result of opponents just out-wrestling him. To be fair, he’s not so easy to take down as he is capable of stuffing the initial, but he then fails to regroup and gets chain-wrestled. Off his back Gooden does move well, always moving his hips and putting his feet on the hips, forcing a separation. His guard is pretty easy to pass but he is yet to be finished by submission.
The wrestling of Gooden is solid. Gooden times his level drops well and is good at getting those big double leg takedowns. On top Gooden stays active with ground and pound (mainly elbows), and his transitions to submissions are done nicely. Taking the back and finishing with the rear-naked choke is something he does especially well. His cardio has looked good at times, but it’s when he’s forced to work at a high pace (i.e. defending takedowns) that he tires. However, Gooden remains dangerous in the later rounds as he has ten second/third round finishes — but you can visibly see his posture/speed does decline. Overall it’s a fun signing and I think Gooden will do just fine in the UFC, similar to how Niko Price is doing in the promotion.
- Striking: B-
- Kickboxing: B-
- Clinch: B-
- Wrestling: B-
- Grappling: B-
- Striking Defense: C+
- Takedown Defense: C+
- Cardio: C-
- Biggest Strength: Well-rounded
- Biggest Weakness: Takedown defense
How he matches up with Jouban:
Alan Jouban is making his return to the octagon after a layoff of over a year. Gooden has all the tools to just outwork Jouban. With that said the fact that Gooden holds his chin out there, he can be knocked out. There isn’t anything out there to prove that Gooden can just be taken out with one strike as his knockout loss came from a barrage of strikes. Still, if the fight stays standing Jouban is the more talented technical fighter. If he pulls the trigger I’m confident he will beat Gooden up by mixing it up to the body and head.