A true pioneer of the sport in Canada, Jonathan Goulet has long been regarded as one of the nation’s most prominent mixed martial artists since making his debut nearly a decade ago.

After notching eight straight victories under the TKO banner, including notable wins over Jeff Joslin, Travis Galbraith and John Alessio, Goulet was invited to compete in the UFC in late 2005 and hasn’t looked back since.

Known for his exciting, fast-paced style, and to a lesser extent his unique haircuts, Goulet, 31, racked up four wins in the Octagon before recently parting ways with the UFC following back-to-back losses at the hands of Mike Swick and Marcus Davis.

Recently the Victoriaville, Quebec native sat down for an exclusive interview about the past, present, and future of Canadian mixed martial arts.

Currently, Canada is represented well by many elite athletes in mixed martial arts, but in the early days of the sport Canadian competitors were few and far between. In the beginning stages of your career, did you look up to any Canadian fighters for inspiration?

At the beginning, no, but when you have the chance to spar with guys like David Loiseau, (Georges St. Pierre), Ivan Menjivar and Patrick Cote, you kind of take them on as an inspiration.

With Georges St. Pierre currently ruling the UFC’s welterweight division, in conjunction with a number of other prominent fighters competing under the UFC banner and countless other young competitors fighting both in North America and abroad, how do you feel about the current state of Canadian mixed martial arts?

It’s always been good.

I had the chance to compete in the UFC before some of them, but trust me, there are a lot of talented fighters in and outside the UFC here in Canada.

It’s always good to have competition, so with that it pushes me to get better.

From British Columbia to the Maritimes, there are more mixed martial arts gyms now than ever before that are churning out very talented fighters. What gym or team do you think is the best in Canada?

I won’t spit on my own gym, but even if it wasn’t where I’m training, look at Tristar.

There are a lot of guys who went to the UFC and a lot of guys who are going to so.

We have good wrestling, talented boxers and black-belts in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

This is the place where people from all around the world are training.

Despite reports to the contrary, professionally-sanctioned mixed martial arts has proven to be one of the safest sports in the world while also consistently proving financially beneficial across every province that sanctions mixed martial arts professionally, do you think that it is just a matter of time until the sport is legalized across Canada?

For the rest of Canada, you only need a lot of fans, and the UFC might see a potential to make money there, so they might work to legalize it like they did for Toronto.

It will be like when you throw a rock in the water; the waves will fix it.

How many times a year? I don’t know, but you’ll see mixed martial arts all over the country eventually.

Recently the British Columbia Medical Association declared their intention to pursue banning professional mixed martial arts across Canada, citing the occurrences of “broken limbs, lacerations and brain damage” as potential afflictions to participants of the sport. How do you feel about the intentions of the B.C. Medical Association?

Even if they all went to university, they are all dumb.

I can’t understand why mixed martial arts is more dangerous than football, hockey, boxing and so many other sports.

They are just mad about something, but I can’t tell you what.

As an athlete who has enjoyed an extended career as a professional mixed martial artist and is familiar with all of the potential risks that mixed martial arts has to offer, do you have a statement to make to the British Columbia Medical Association?

Stop wasting your time.

If we stop mixed martial arts, why don’t we stop hockey?

People need to see mixed martial arts; it’s good for them, especially after a hard week at work.

With new training facilities being opened on almost a weekly basis across Canada with a number of Canadian-based promotions achieving international recognition, there is no doubt that there are more opportunities for young mixed martial artists than ever before in our nation, but do you feel that there are enough opportunities for aspiring mixed martial artists in Canada?

I think we do enough. We might introduce mixed martial arts at school, like wrestling, so the future generation will know the sport better than the B.C. Medical Association.

There are a plethora of young up-and-coming mixed martial artists in Canada, from Rory MacDonald to TJ Grant to any number of promising athletes competing in smaller organizations across the world. How do you feel about the future of mixed martial arts in Canada?

The future of mixed martial arts will be insane!

I don’t know when they will stop getting better.

You just have to look at the difference between young and older fighters like (Tito Ortiz) and (Chuck Liddell); the younger fighters just sent those guys into retirement.

The up-and-coming fighters will be dangerous.

Given the incredible amount of enthusiastic fans across the country and the fact that the sport is only gaining in popularity, do you think in the future Canada could displace America, Brazil and Japan as the top mixed martial arts country in the world?

I don’t think so, yet.

If we do, I’ll be really happy, but I’m not sure if I will be able to see it.

Mixed martial arts in Japan is really big, Brazil has had the sport for a while, but it hasn’t seemed to grow that much and the USA is so big, especially with the UFC.

But, nothing is impossible.

Few would argue that there is a more prominent figure in Canadian mixed martial arts than Georges St. Pierre at this point in time, but who do you think is the next great Canadian mixed martial artist?

I don’t want to disappoint you guys, but a next GSP? I don’t see anybody for now.

Canada is blessed to be represented by not only a number of very talented fighters, but the majority of these athletes are also terrific sportsmen who serve as exquisite role-models for young people everywhere; how do you feel about the way Canada is represented by our mixed martial artists? Do you think it is important to represent your nation well when you perform at an international level?

In real life I’m an (expletive)—just kidding.

It’s so important to represent the sport well, because we don’t want to be banned by old guys like the B.C. Medical Association.

If I would have to see guys like (Josh Koscheck), I mean if the role models would be guys like him who do their best to talk (expletive) about mixed martial arts, but for 10 years I’ve been fighting for our reputation.

We are not bums; we are athletes.

While you have this opportunity, do you have anything that you would like to say to your Canadian fans?

If you have kids who would like to be a fighter, don’t stop them. It will be great for their health, but do your best to help them finish school and find a real job before, because a career doesn’t last for life, so they will need to work after that—and going back to school at 40 isn’t fun.

Also, if you have dreams, do your best to reach them, because nobody will do it for you.