Las Vegas, NV — Jared Gooden’s coach put a bug in his ear about stepping into the UFC Vegas 33 card on short notice.
“He said ‘hey, how about you hit up your manager, see if anybody falls out this weekend, you can take it,'” Gooden recalled during Thursday’s UFC Vegas 33 media day, speaking to reporters including Cageside Press. Gooden did just that, and his manager passed the word along to UFC matchmakers. “That’s how we got here. That was Tuesday morning. I’m just glad my coach put the idea in my ear, and glad I was able to capitalize on the ultimate opportunity.”
Gooden went on to add that he’s one of those fighters who is always ready for a fight. “I’m always in the gym. We believe you don’t have to get ready if you stay ready, so we’re always ready.”
At UFC Vegas 33, Gooden’s task is to overcome the odds and save his job against Niklas Stolze, filling in for Mounir Lazzez.
“We know my job is on the line right now. I’m 0-2 in the UFC, but it’s just one of those, go out there and get it done,” Gooden admitted. Still, the less he thinks about his predicament, the better, it seems. “I’m one of those guys that, I just want to go and do. The more I think about it, the more it weighs on me, if that makes sense. That’s why I like the short notice, I can just get in, get out, and go.”
The good news is that Gooden is sharing the UFC Vegas 33 card with Phil Rowe this weekend. The pair have trained together in the past, and were supposed to fight alongside one another once before.
“I feel great, because when me and Phil both got signed with the UFC, after he won [on the Contender Series] and I got signed, we were supposed to fight on the same card last year. It was August 22,” said Gooden. “And then sadly he had to pull out because of injury, then I had to pull out because of injury.”
“I just feel like it’s destined,” he continued. “We were supposed to be on the same card together, we’re both going to be on the same card this Saturday, both going to get wins together this Saturday. I just feel like it’s destined, and I can’t wait to go out there and do it.”
Watch the full UFC Vegas 33 media day press scrum with Jared Gooden above. The event takes place this Saturday, July 31 at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas, NV.