Matthew Naqvi is a freelance writer and filmmaker. Follow me on Twitter @MatthewNaqvi
Published February 17th 2013
A fighter who gave it his all
Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) is a sport for some of the toughest people on the planet; and Gary Goodridge is certainly one of them. Gatekeeper: The Fighting Life of Gary "Big Daddy" Goodridge is a deeply personal and honest account of the life of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) veteran, Gary Goodridge.
Gary Goodridge was one of MMA's most loved fighters when he was fighting in Japan's Pride Fighting Championships. His willingness to get in a stand-up war with his opponents gained him a huge following in Japan and across the world. He was also a very well spoken and humble individual during interviews which added to his charm.
Gatekeeper is a superbly written autobiography (co-written by Mark Dorsey) that details Goodridge's life growing up in Saint James, Trinidad and Tobago and his subsequent move to Barrie, Ontario, Cananda where he was picked on as a child. It then follows his years as a world arm-wrestling champion and his eventual move into world of MMA and kickboxing.
Goodridge gives a comprehensive wrap-up of each and every fight in his career along the way including his heavyweight slugfests with Igor Vovchancyn. His battles with Don Frye are particularly exciting with revenge weighing heavy on Goodridge's mind after his first loss. His MMA record ended at twenty-three wins, twenty-three losses and one draw.
Goodridge also talks about his affairs and failed marriages with brutal honesty; almost like he is talking to a best friend of twenty years. While this in very powerful, you can't help but feel very disappointed in his behaviour given how much of a nice guy he is.
Towards the end of the book, Goodridge discusses his battles with the early onset of dementia pugilistica which he believes was caused mostly by his kickboxing fights, where he suffered eight knockouts and six technical knockout losses.
Gatekeeper: The Fighting Life of Gary "Big Daddy" Goodridge is a touching account of Gary Goodridge's life in and outside of the ring and is sure to inspire you. This isn't a book just for MMA fans; this is for anyone looking for inspiration.