Gary Goodridge: 'I had no idea how dangerous it was'

source: The Underground

Acquired Brain Injury from Fighting

From: Sofa King Goodridge
Member Since: 11/23/10
Posts: 471

Hello my friends. I'm giving a speech this FRiday in Collingwood, ON, about my experience with brain injury.

Here is part of the article and a link to the rest. I'll be done writing my speech soon and I will post it for you all.

This is a tough sport. Unforgiving. It's not a part time gig. Thank you to Dana and the UFC crew for continuing to make the sport as safe as possible. The more education and regulations in place, the better for everybody.

Guys like me, and many more who are probably reading this post, paved the way and learned many harsh lessons. Hopefully the next generation can grow with this sport I love, and promote safety on all levels.

Thanks my friends, be safe


Fighting acquired brain injuries

People often chalk it up to living with a fighter’s mentality — just roll with the punches. That is exactly what Gary Goodridge did, but in the end, his brain paid for it.

During his super heavyweight and mixed martial arts career, Goodridge estimates he was knocked unconscious at least 11 times, but there are “many times I have been knocked out, but still been able to perform,” he said.

“I’m a warrior,” Goodridge said. “That is my personality.”

In fact, Goodridge remembers standing up after getting knocked out, and continuing on with the fight. In many of those cases, once the match was finished, he couldn’t remember any details from those fights.

“You have no recollection of anything,” Goodridge said. “You can’t remember absolutely anything.”

It wasn’t until about two years ago when he began realizing the effects of those knockdowns. It was around that time he noticed people kept repeating things they said to him — “I’d keep forgetting this, keep forgetting that.”

Today, following a more than 80-fight career in martial arts, which saw him become a fan favourite in many parts of the world, Goodridge is battling an acquired brain injury (ABI).

“I had no idea how dangerous it was and what it was going to lead me to,” he said. “I didn’t realize anything.”

On Friday (Aug. 19), Goodridge will visit Monora Park during the second annual Headwaters Acquired Brain Injury (HABI) barbecue to share his story in an attempt to raise the public’s consciousness about ABIs.

HABI, which launched in October of 2009, operates as a grassroots community organization with a focus on providing social outlets for people with an ABI. It has since grown to include between 50 and 80 members. The group meets the first Tuesday of every month at Dufferin Child and Family Services from 6 to 8:30 p.m.

“We have a pretty large membership in the area,” explained Norman Phillips, co-chair of HABI. “In the time we have been around, we have probably connected with over 100 people in Dufferin County.”

According to Phillips, asking Goodridge to speak at the organization’s community barbecue, which takes place from 4 to 8 p.m. at Monora Park, was an obvious choice. With such a strong “pugilistic subculture” in Orangeville, Phillips said there is reason to believe large numbers of people are at risk locally.

“One of his main points in his speech is the fact that he wasn’t aware and he didn’t care that he has getting knocked out,” Phillips said. “A lot of fighters just do their thing. They just train, fight and if they get hurt they don’t really care. They don’t really realize it, they can be indifferent to the damage that they’re causing, and Gary was like that.”

Open to everyone, HABI’s second annual event will feature a toonie barbecue, activities for kids, and story time with staff at the Orangeville Public Library. DriveWise and the Orangeville police have organized a bike rodeo and inspection, which will focus on road safety, awareness and teaching riders hand signals, while Peel Halton Dufferin Acquired Brain Injury Services (PHD ABIS) will set up an information booth.

Goodridge is convinced his earlier years in kickboxing was when the majority of his brain damage occurred. A lot of the damage likely occurred as a result of him getting back into the ring too early following a concussion, he said.

“I had like three weeks in a row where I was knocked out two of the three weeks,” he said. “You built up brain injury after brain injury after brain injury by not giving it proper time to heal.

“That’s not to say that if you were to give it time to heal, then it was going to go away,” he noted.

Read entire article...


tags: Gary Goodridge (detail)  


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Recent Comments »

SKARHEAD site profile image  

3/14/12 4:23 PM by SKARHEAD

TTT for Gary...Always a fan

itswhitty site profile image  

3/14/12 3:12 PM by itswhitty

Best wishes as you tell your story and spread awareness about the issue. I got a TBI after a car accident a number of years ago. Fortunately my symptoms are pretty mild, but it can be tough to get people to understand the small ways that brain trauma can affect a person. For me anyhow, it's really the small changes that are most bothersome; when two things are going on at once I pretty much just freeze up and can't focus on either one, for example, where I used to just breeze through things like that. Knowing that I'm struggling to do something that is actually very simple just bothers me and can really bring down an otherwise good day... Hopefully as awareness toward brain injury in general grows more people will learn how to support (or at least tolerate) their friends and loved ones who have been affected in one way or another. You're helping with that, so I give you my thanks!


3/14/12 2:19 PM by Gary "Big Daddy" Goodridge

Thanks everybody. I had a great time on Inside MMA. A nice crew of people they have on that show

UGCTT_Bispingstolemysn site profile image  

3/8/12 1:33 PM by UGCTT_Bispingstolemysn

 Enjoyed your guest spot on InsideMMA. Good luck Big Daddy!

mestregruber site profile image  

3/8/12 1:32 PM by mestregruber

Thank you Gary for coming on Inside MMA and discussing your brain injury. For those of you that didn't catch it, it will re-air tomorrow night on HDNet.

Sofa King Goodridge site profile image  

8/23/11 1:38 PM by Sofa King Goodridge

 Thanks to everybody for your support. I'm glad the issue is getting some notice. Hopefully, if we keep talking about it, things will be safer in the future. Here's a link to a article I just wrote on my dealings with ABI

fishingtime site profile image  

8/21/11 6:18 PM by fishingtime

Thank for this article Big Daddy. Hope you the best with everything. I am a big proponent for fighters retiring when they are continuing to get knocked out. Guys like Arlovski and Cro Cop. It has nothing to do with them losing. It is because of the long term effects that can happen from this. A lot of people disagree with me, and say they should retire when they want to. I do believe it is every fighter's right to, but I also believe that they should be made more aware of the risks of continuing. I hope that a lot of fighters read this article and start to rethink how they would like to continue their career. I love to watch these guys fight, but their health is more important. A lot of doctors also believe these concussions/HT can lead to early onset Parkinson's disease. Thanks for sharing your story, and I hope it helps a lot of people.

tahoe5280 site profile image  

8/21/11 5:38 PM by tahoe5280

This thread was actually the one that made me come out from lurking and sign up on the UG. Sorry for the long post, but this topic is something that I think deserves a lot more concern and attention than it's gotten. And not just for MMA/combat sports, but other hard hitting sports like the NFL and NHL.I'd would like to wish for the best of health not only to Mr Goodridge but also to those all those fighters out there putting on great fights and taking the punishment to entertain the fans. Thanks for the great fights and hard work.I am not only concerned whenever I see veteran fighters like Liddell or Wanderlei get in the cage and continue to take brutal head shots and KO's---but I'm also concerned about younger fighters who've spent their careers developing that crowd pleasing Stand-and-Bang style like Leben, Garcia, Korean Zombie, Bonnar, Griffin, etc. The irony is that the fighting spirit within all these guys is what makes it so hard for them to hang up the gloves and retire, even when neuroscience has already warned them of the tremendous risk of leading a life with multiple concussions. They know they can still compete at a high level, and still have that fire within that refuses to let go of competing.As a true fan, I would never be that kind of guy who says, "so-and-so needs to retire". Managing their career is not my business. However, the only thing I can really hope for is that medical science improves enough to where fighters who spend their careers laying it on the line and taking concussions are still able to maintain the quality of life that they deserve. And also that these fighters have the kind of support system around them who can give them honest advice from a place of love---like family and friends. I'm glad to see respected fighters like Mr Goodridge are starting to bring well-deserved attention to this subject. Thanks.

frontrowbrian site profile image  

8/21/11 7:45 AM by frontrowbrian

 best wishes Gary. You're one of the few people I like in this industry .. consider yourself honored

Elbeezy1 site profile image  

8/21/11 7:39 AM by Elbeezy1

Big daddy G, good bloke. All the best for it and respect for covering the topic mate