When your nickname is “The Goods,” you’d better deliver.
That’s exactly what Josh “The Goods” Woods is committed to doing, not only in Ring of Honor but also in Brazilian jiu-jitsu competition. Woods is currently training for his first BJJ match in several years, which will take place on Oct. 6 in Orlando, Fla.
“If I’m talking about how I’m an MMA badass, if I’m not out there doing competitions and winning then I’m just a windbag,” Woods told ROHWrestling.com. “I’m just like everybody else that says they can do stuff but they’re sitting in their room not doing [anything].”
Woods has already accomplished plenty. Before winning ROH’s Top Prospect Tournament in 2017 to earn a contract, the native of Coral Springs, Fla., was an outstanding collegiate wrestler at Central Florida, where he won a national championship and was a four-time All-American. He also was the captain of the 2012 US MMA team and has run camps for MMA stars such as King Mo, Seth Petruzelli, Alex Nicholson, Mike Perry and Tom Lawlor.
Woods -- who trains year round in MMA in addition to training and wrestling for ROH and being a full-time college student (the criminal justice major is one semester away from earning his degree) -- began intensifying his MMA training in August in preparation for his BJJ match.
“I wake up and go to the gym and do some MMA stuff -- jiu-jitsu, striking and things like that -- and then class, and then maybe a second or third session at night, and then I also have to do homework and things like that,” Woods said when describing a typical day. “My training partner and best friend, Seth Petruzelli, is a really skilled black belt and he just beats the dog [crap] out of me every day. My training partner is one of the best in the world. I would equate it to training for pro wrestling with Jay Lethal or the Briscoes.”
Normally 225 pounds, Woods will compete at 215 when he faces Michael Paredes in a No-Gi match (participants compete in shorts and a rash guard rather than in a traditional Gi).
Despite his return to BJJ competition, Woods is as determined as ever to make it to the top in ROH. Even though he is one of the least-experienced wrestlers on the roster, Woods has held his own against top stars such as Lethal, Jay Briscoe, Punishment Martinez and others, but he won’t be satisfied until he has gold around his waist.
“Everybody wants to be a champion,” he said. “I’ve never been happy with just making it to the big show. That’s not me. I want to make my mark. I want people to be like, ‘Hey, I want to be the next Josh Woods.’”
Woods believes his MMA experience will only make him that much better of a pro wrestler.
“We don’t have guys in ROH that can do what I can do, and they’re definitely not living the same lifestyle where they’re constantly fighting every day,” Woods said. “I get hit in the face every day. I’m having my joints manipulated every day. I’m suffering doing what I’m doing, and when I’m in the ring I’m trying to do the same thing. I know that my skill set is completely different than everybody else’s on our roster."