When Ulysses Gomez looks back to 2011, the man who is known to many as “Useless” freely admits that his fight-trunks weren’t worth all that much.
“A pair of my trunks and five bucks would get you a cup of coffee at Starbucks,” the 29-year-old Los Angeles product offered with a laugh.
But Gomez, who is to make his UFC debut against John Moraga at the UFC on Fox card on Saturday, is hoping that his trunks from this weekend prove to fetch more than a few dollars for a good cause.
Earlier this week, Gomez learned that the significant other of a co-worker at Las Vegas’ Hard Rock Hotel and Casino was diagnosed with three types of cancer. Gomez’s friend is a seasonal worker at another Las Vegas hotel and is thus ineligible to take advantage of certain benefits offered to some employees.
After Gomez’s match on Saturday, the 125-pound contender intends on raffling off a pair of his shorts—either his fight-worn trunks or his alternate pair, signed by the card’s other fighters—to help raise a bit of money for his friend.
At this point, the details are unclear as to how Gomez will sell his trunks—this is a new idea and the fight of the long-time mixed martial artist’s life is to happen this weekend, after all. But those interested in potentially participating in the raffle are encouraged to visit Gomez’s website (www.uselessgomez.com) or to keep up to date on his initiative via his personal Facebook page (www.facebook.com/uselessgomez).
Although Gomez noted that he has gotten quite a bit of positive feedback already, he isn’t certain how much his shorts will raise when they hit the market. Nevertheless, Gomez is hopeful that he can make an impact on the life of his friend—regardless of how many tickets are ultimately sold.
“If he needs $30,000, I want to get $50,000,” Gomez said. “Now, I’m not saying my trunks are worth $50,000, but I just want to go above and beyond what they need ... All I can do is try. If it’s $100, it’s $100. If it’s more, it’s more.”
Ed Kapp is a Regina, Saskatchewan-based freelance journalist. Unless otherwise noted, all quotations were obtained firsthand.