UFC on Fox 3: Green means go for Louis Gaudinot
UFC flyweight Louis “Goodnight” Gaudinot’s fighting career is all about standing out from the pack.
For starters, the 5-2 Hoboken, N.J. fighter can claim a stint on the 14th season of “The Ultimate Fighter” for his meteoric rise up the MMA ranks. Not content for mere exposure on the hit TV show, he went on to win “Fight of the Season” accolades in a submission loss to Dustin “The Disciple” Pague. Nearly a year later, Gaudinot (Twitter: @LouGaudinotUFC) credits the show as pivotal boost to his career.
“Being on ‘The Ultimate Fighter’ got my name out there instead of coming into the UFC by the usual route,” Gaudinot told MMADiehards on Tuesday’s MMA Beatdown. “Recognition is the biggest thing. You’re on the show for 12 or 13 weeks and people seeing you every week is definitely good for your career.”
It helped that punk rock style stood out in a house of 16 aspiring UFC athletes. When he wasn’t putting on star-making fights, Gaudinot was attracting constant stares with his bright green hair. With his season now over, it’s a look the flyweight said isn’t leaving anytime soon.
“I’ll always have the green hair,” Gaudinot declared. “It’s my trademark. It helps people recognize me. I can’t get rid of it.”
Gaudinot will next try making his mark with a UFC on Fox 3 match against Brazil’s 19-5 John “Mao-de-Pedra” Lineker on Saturday. On paper, it’s a close contest as both men are debuting in the UFC’s flyweight division. Gaudinot, however, maintains he’ll have an advantage given that Lineker doesn’t love fighting at 125 lbs. like he does.
“All my pro fights have been at flyweight,” said Gaudinot, who moved up to bantamweight for his “Ultimate Fighter” exhibition match. “It’s my natural weight class. It feels good to be back where I started. It feels like I’m home.”
Such confidence doesn’t mean Gaudinot is looking past Lineker. On the contrary, he said he sees his opponent as a tough challenge to overcome.
“Lineker’s put together a nice run of 12 wins in a row, 13 wins in a row,” Gaudinot said. “He likes to swing and throw bombs. At the same time, I’m not seeing him dropping anybody with one punch. I’m looking to go in there and trade with him.”
It’s a high risk, high reward strategy in the UFC’s new flyweight division. Launched with a four-person title tournament in March, a champion remains uncrowned as semi-finalist Joseph “Joe B-Wan Kenobi” Benavidez awaits the victor of Ian “Uncle Creepy” McCall vs. Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson in June. For division rookies like Gaudinot, it won’t take long entering the rankings and storming the title holder’s gates.
“Right now the flyweight division is up in the air,” said Gaudinot, who estimates the UFC has signed eight flyweights besides himself. “With two or three impressive fights you could be fighting for the title as you’ve beaten two-thirds of the roster for your division. It’s definitely exciting.”
All the same, Gaudinot said he prefers fighting smart rather than speculating on the future. When the cage door closes for his match against Lineker, he said he’ll go after what works rather than people’s predictions.
“The division is young,” Gaudinot said. “I’m looking to move myself up the ladder. I’m not going to go out there and force anything. If I hurt him I’m going to finish him then.”