UFC lightweight Jared Gordon is preparing to return from a 10-month layoff and is doing so with a new team behind him.
Gordon took his first loss in the UFC when he came up short to Carlos Diego Ferreira at UFC Fight Night 126 back in February. Following the loss, Gordon decided to pack up from his New York home and move to Roufusport in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Roufusport is home to plenty of UFC stars, including Anthony and Sergio Pettis, Paul Felder, John Makdessi and Belal Muhammad just to name a few.
In joining Roufusport, Gordon recognizes that he has a full team and a better situation around him that helps him far more than what he had in New York. In an interview on “Inside The Cage” on BJPenn.com, Gordon opened up about his decision to move to Milwaukee and how his new situation fits him better.
“I felt like I needed an up in training partners, I needed a different look and coaching. I was going to gym to gym, getting on subways, I’d be exhausted by the time I get to my first gym. This move has been a lot easier and convenient for me.”
The training partners weren’t the only benefit of Gordon moving to Roufusport, as he says the high-level and experienced coaches were also a big reason for his move.
“The coaches, Duke (Roufus), Scott Cushman, Daniel Wanderley, they’ve cornered in multiple UFC championship fights,” he said. “My coaches at home were great, but they never brought anyone to UFC championship level, they never coached in big title fights like that.”
“Duke is a legend himself and he knows how it is to train every day and grind and have that mentality every day to go, go, go.”
Some might find it difficult to move across the country, but for Gordon, it’s been a pretty easy transition. Consistency is a big reason why.
“It’s just been good as far as coaching, the level of training, and the consistency in our schedule. we know exactly when and where and what we are going to be doing. it’s been very easy.
While he will always have love for his home in New York, Gordon believes that his adopted hometown of Milwaukee has given him a feeling of finally finding his home for his career.
“100%. I love new york but it’s just the training wasn’t cohesive for me. i fit right in, everyone is super cool. there’s no cliques in the gym, everyone is one big team. the environment is perfect, i just feel like it’s a perfect fit for me.
As Jared Gordon prepares for his next fight against Joaquim Silva, who he’ll face at UFC on FOX 31 in Milwaukee on December 15, he said it’s not a fight he sought out, but simply one that his team made happen.
In looking to bounce back from his first loss in the UFC, Gordon says he learned plenty from the loss and looks to showcase that against Silva.
“First thing I learned was not to fight injured,” he said. “I almost had my finger cut off before my last fight so my training camp was shit.”
“The second thing I learned was take more time when you get kicked in the nuts, especially twice in the first minute.”
“The third thing I learned was, I can’t be so predictable. Coming to Roufusport, I’ve learned I’ve got to mix it up more and I want to be more versatile in my approach.”
Jared Gordon doesn’t just fight for UFC gold. He’s fighting for much more than that and uses his life story to promote a bigger message. After fighting addiction and overcoming sexual assault in his youth, Gordon is using his UFC platform to help others that may be struggling or going through similar situations.
“if you’re not in this sport to try and become a champion, you’re an idiot and should go do something else. but the bigger thing for me is to spread the message about what i’m fighting for,” he said.
“i want to go in there to show that no matter how low you go, you can come out of the hole and do something to impact the world.”
Getting the gold is certainly important to Jared Gordon but without helping others, he can’t keep going himself.
“If I don’t help other people, I won’t be able to keep what has been given to me. If you don’t give away, you can’t keep what you have. I have to help other people to keep sobriety in tact.”
With a new home and team behind him, Jared Gordon is ready to make a statement in Milwaukee. That statement won’t just be that he’s here to win, but that packing up and moving to Milwaukee and joining Roufusport was worth it all.
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 11/30/2018.