To kick off the week, we bring you a special, comeback story. There are comeback stories of many varieties. Some from poor performance, and some from injury. But there are none greater than literally coming back from death. Such is the inspiring comeback story of Jared “Flash” Gordon.
Gordon made his UFC debut last night at UFC Fight Night 112 in Oklahoma City. Gordon was originally scheduled to make his debut at UFC 211 in Dallas on May 13th but had to withdraw due to food poisoning. This was the final hurdle en route to the fulfillment of his dream; fighting in the UFC.
Originally from Long Island, Gordon attended Wheatley High School in Old Westbury, NY. It was there, where he was introduced to a life of addiction. It is often too late when someone realizes they have an addictive personality. This was almost the case for Gordon. He always had a passion for mixed martial arts, as he was drawn to the action inside the octagon. His first amateur fight came nearly 10 years ago, at the age of 19 (he won a unanimous decision). After an injury early on in his MMA career, Gordon was prescribed pain medication. Right then and there, his addiction became a reality. A Vicodin prescription was parlayed into an addiction to OxyContin and Percocet.
Looking to kick his addiction, and take his fighting career to new heights, Gordon relocated to Florida. Unfortunately, his addiction to drugs, rather than fighting, was taken to new heights. Gordon found himself addicted to heroin. His addiction became a daily habit, a choke-hold he simply could not shake. And one fateful day, Gordon overdosed and was rushed to the hospital. After flat-lining, doctors were able to revive Gordon, brining him back to life. In television and movies, this is the “wake-up call” that turns it all around, but reality isn’t always so pretty. Gordon found himself, on the couch of his dealer, that very night, feeding his heroin addiction once again….
After 3 overdoses, Gordon finally rid himself of his drug addiction in a rehabilitation facility. This was the moment his addiction transferred to a life of fighting. Gordon’s addictive personality, I believe, is what makes him such a successful fighter. The hard-work and dedication required to succeed in MMA is astounding, and it showed last night on the grandest of stages.
“Flash” Gordon fights out of Astoria, Queens. He stands at 5’9″ tall and weighed in at 149 pounds for Sunday night’s fight. Gordon’s debut was against another UFC first-timer, Michel Quinones. This bout was fought at a catch-weight rather than featherweight (145 pounds). Quinones came out of the gate with flashy, spinning kicks and punches, however, Gordon was not phased. After several take downs by Gordon, he took control of the fight. And at 4:24 of the 2nd round, referee Keith Peterson had seen enough. It was a TKO (strikes) by Jared “Flash” Gordon!! Gordon now holds a 12-1 record in his MMA career, and is 1-0 in the UFC. With such an impressive performance, Gordon has put the UFC on notice.
While his performance inside the octagon is inspiring, it is his actions outside the octagon that are a true inspiration. Gordon took the time, this past Father’s Day, to speak at the last rehab facility he attended. His audience, 22 men, drug addicts who were recently released from prison. Gordon has nobly decided to use his platform to be a positive influence in other people’s lives. In a recently written article by Damon Martin of Fox Sports, Gordon spoke of his advice to these men, “There’s a light at the end of the tunnel. So the main thing for me is to be an influence and to lead by example that you should never quit and no matter how hard your life is or what you’re going through, there’s always a way out.”