On Saturday, Jared Gordon will battle at UFC 278, but three days before the event, in a media conference, he was already being questioned about his future fight.
In brief, the New York native expressed interest in competing in UFC 281, scheduled for November’s Madison Square Garden. Timeliness depends on his survival of his duel with Leonardo Santos.
Gordon listed several reasons why fighting at MSG is his “destiny,” but one in particular jumped out.
“I used to shoot dope in the bathroom down the block from Madison Square Garden,” Gordon said.
It is generally known that Gordon struggled with drug addiction in the past, but since he began training with the UFC in 2017, he has been able to avoid falling back into that lifestyle. And in his most recent bout, which was against Grant Dawson, he was defeated through submission, thus he will be hoping to bounce back at UFC 278.
Given his turbulent past, one may assume that fighting at the top level of mixed martial arts (MMA) gives Gordon the satisfaction he needs, and that perhaps the sport and being a part of the UFC have helped him remain sober. On the other hand, nothing could be further from the reality.
“MMA hasn’t helped me at all. Actually it’s made my life worse. I’m not even joking,” Gordon said. “MMA doesn’t give me any fulfillment whatsoever. I’m able to use my platform to help people through MMA, but whether I win or lose, three days later I’m miserable again.”
Gordon continued by drawing parallels between the feeling of being a fighter and that of a drug addict, and he warned his competitors not to get caught up in it.
“It’s like drugs. I’ve got to look for another fix. All right, ‘what’s next?’ You see it all the time,” Gordon said. “These guys become multiple-time world champions, and they’re fighting into their 40s looking for that next thing. They’re trying to fill a void. The only thing that fills my void is God, my family, my wife, my relationships, and helping other people. That’s the only thing that gives me fulfillment, is helping other people. So I need UFC and this platform to help others.
“If Logan Paul or Jake, whatever his name is, and Floyd (Mayweather) and Conor McGregor – no offense, I’m not trying to put them down. But if they were preaching about mental health and addiction, how many people would listen? I don’t have a platform like they do. The goal is to get there. They’re driving around in Lamborghini boats and flashing chains. All my shiny sh*t doesn’t do anything for me – my car, I’m wearing a Rolex right now. I’m wearing this just for this (interview). I like it, but it’s like a burden on my life. I’m still paying it off. I’ve owned it for a year. It’s a burden on my life. Fighting, I love martial arts. It’s my passion. I love competing. It’s not for me. None of this is for me. It’s for the people I’m trying to help.”