Skip to main content
Billy Goff reacts after his TKO victory over Shimon Smotritsky of Israel in a welterweight fight during Dana White's Contender Series season six, week two at UFC APEX on August 02, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)
Athletes

Billy Goff: 'It's Go Big Or Go Home'

Injuries Delayed Contender Series Alumnus Billy Goff's UFC Debut, But He Finally Makes His First UFC Walk At UFC Fight Night: Holloway vs The Korean Zombie

Billy Goff is amused when I tell him that I missed a digit when calling for our interview and was met by a fellow Connecticut resident who asked if he was any good.

“Yeah, he’s all right,” I said.

Full Fight Card Breakdown

Goff laughs, and it’s all good vibes for the welterweight from Groton, who is finally making his UFC debut this Saturday against Yusaku Kinoshita in Singapore. “Finally” is the word because Goff has been out of action since he earned his UFC contract on Dana White’s Contender Series last August, and a year later, he’s chomping at the bit to get moving.

Billy Goff prepares to fight Shimon Smotritsky of Israel in a welterweight fight during Dana White's Contender Series season six, week two at UFC APEX on August 02, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)
Billy Goff prepares to fight Shimon Smotritsky of Israel in a welterweight fight during Dana White's Contender Series season six, week two at UFC APEX on August 02, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)

“It was the first surgery I've ever had,” he said of the knee injuries that put him under the knife after his first-round stoppage of Shimon Smotritsky on season six of DWCS. “So it was severely frustrating. And if you ask most fighters, they're not the type to just sit around and do nothing. So I probably pushed it too much a little early, but I’m healthy now and I'm ready to go and that's all that really matters.”

He's right, and with White including the Goff-Kinoshita bout in his “If you don’t know, now you know” series this week, the buzz is building back up for the 25-year-old, who has been keeping a low profile when it comes to being in front of the TV for MMA events every weekend.

MORE UFC SINGAPORE: Joanna Jędrzejczyk Visits Singapore | Rinya Nakamura Becomes Road To UFC's First Debutant

“It's not so much that I try to get away from it; I just don't usually care to watch it as much,” he said. “I've never really been a big sports watcher and I don't really watch too many sports. I always just prefer to do them.”

Please enable Javascript to view this content

Thus far, being a participant and not an observer has worked out for him, as he enters his Octagon debut with an 8-2 pro record that includes six knockouts and a six-fight winning streak. He’s also defeated legit competition along the way, so while he wasn’t facing UFC killers night in and night out, he has been put in with opposition that could test him en route to the big show.

So when he got the call to perform against Smotritsky, he was ready.

“I try not to put too much pressure on myself the day of the fight,” he said. “That's more of an all right, we've done all the work. Now it's time to just relax and go in there and be the best version of yourself you can. I think that's the same for every fight, even if it's a championship fight; you don't want to overload your nervous system when you're trying to be the best that you can be. But in training camp up until the fight, during all the workouts, during cardio, that's when I'm telling myself that this is the most important fight of my life.”

Top Knockouts | Dana White's Contender Series, Season 6
fight pass logo
Unlock MORE of your inner combat sports fan with UFC Fight Pass! Fighting is what we live for. And no one brings you MORE live fights, new shows, and events across multiple combat sports from around the world. With a never-ending supply of fighting in every discipline, there’s always something new to watch. Leave it to the world’s authority in MMA to bring you the Ultimate 24/7 platform for MORE combat sports, UFC Fight Pass!

Unlock MORE of your inner combat sports fan with UFC Fight Pass! Fighting is what we live for. And no one brings you MORE live fights, new shows, and events across multiple combat sports from around the world. With a never-ending supply of fighting in every discipline, there’s always something new to watch. Leave it to the world’s authority in MMA to bring you the Ultimate 24/7 platform for MORE combat sports, UFC Fight Pass!

This video is not available in your country

There was a problem while loading content. Please try again.

Top Knockouts | Dana White's Contender Series, Season 6
/

And he’s got one chance to get it right after traveling across the world to Singapore. If he does, he can bask in the glory for a minute. If he doesn’t, it’s a few months to sit on the result.

“It certainly adds a bit more pressure, a bit more to the moment, and it's a bit more serious,” he said of life in the fight game. “There's a lot more riding on it, and there’s pros and cons to it. It's certainly more stressful and it's more unfortunate if it doesn't work out in your favor, but when it does, it feels pretty damn good.”

FREE FIGHTS: Holloway vs Allen | TKZ vs Ige 

Goff is chasing that feeling he hasn’t had in over a year. That’s a long time, but he believes it will all be worth it when the smoke clears at Singapore Indoor Stadium this weekend.
 
“I like the competition, I like the pressure, I like walking in and all eyes are on you,” he said. “It's a huge moment and it's go big or go home.”

UFC Fight Night: Holloway vs The Korean Zombie took place live from Singapore Indoor Stadium in Singapore on August 26, 2023. See the Final Results, Official Scorecards and Who Won Bonuses - and relive the action on UFC Fight Pass