Jared “Flash” Gordon Wins UFC Debut

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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.”

 

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The U.S. Open Often Surprises Us

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The U.S. Open is the most difficult golf tournament of the year. By definition, it is an “Open” tournament, meaning a larger number of players can qualify as compared to other Major tournaments throughout the year (such as the Masters). The player pool consists of the top 156 golfers who either qualified automatically or played their way in. Automatic qualification is based on the following:

  •  Players who have won a U.S. Open in the last 10 years
  • Players who have won The Masters, The Open Championship (British Open), or The PGA Championship in the last 5 years
  •  Players who finished in the top-30 on the money list on the PGA Tour
  • Players who finished in the top-15 on the money list on the European Tour
  • And players who are ranked in the top 50 in the 2 weeks leading up to the U.S. Open

Those who did not qualify automatically must win an 18-hole local tournament as well as a 36-hole sectional tournament to gain entry.

* Oh yeah, just to be eligible to earn a spot in the U.S. Open, you must own a handicap index of 1.4 or better.

This means a player will shoot, on average, 1.4 strokes above par. In other words..they’re really freakin’ good at golf.

This format welcomes surprise success stories, such as Michael Campbell winning the 2005 U.S. Open. This year, although still early in the tournament, we are stumbling upon another completely unknown golfer. Allow me to introduce Xander Schauffele. Who?! Exactly. I’ll give you a hint – he’s the guy in the picture up there. Xander would be the 352nd ranked golfer in the world. His full name is Xander Victor Schauffele, and he is from La Jolla, California. He is 23 years old, and owns 1 professional win (2015 Northern California Open).

So why are we talking about this kid??

Because he is currently tied for 5th (-5) toward the end of the 2nd Round of the U.S. Open. There are currently a handful of unknown players littered across the leaderboard, but none are playing better than Xander. You can check the current leaderboard here. Only time will tell if he will climb into the spotlight over the weekend. For now, he can briefly enjoy making his 1st cut in a Major Tournament.

While the 1st 2 rounds of the U.S. Open have welcomed low scores, the majority of the top golfers are struggling. As of now, only 6 of the top-30 golfers in the world are in the top-45 of the leaderboard. Following today’s round, only the top-60 golfers will make the cut and advance to the weekend.

We could be looking at an interesting leaderboard come Sunday.  

Who do you think will win The U.S. Open?? Give me your prediction in the comment section below.

HAPPY FATHER’S DAY EVERYONE!!

Since you enjoy my writing, follow me over to intheneutralzone.com where I am a contributing author there as well. You can also follow me on twitter @DaveEttinger2 or like me on Facebook at http://www.Facebook.com/DaveTalksSports. Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoyed it!

 

Big Weekend In Sports

This was a big weekend in sports that just passed us by. I hope everyone enjoyed their weekend and their Father’s Day. If you spent some time on your couch with your television like I did, than you definitely enjoyed yourself. There were 3 major sporting events going on, and I’m going to give you a quick rundown of what took place in each one. First you had Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Finals on Saturday night. Then you had the finish of golf’s U.S Open Sunday Evening. And last but certainly not least you had Game 5 of the NBA Finals Sunday night. None were more exciting than the hockey game between the Chicago Blackhawks and Boston Bruins.

If you saw Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Finals than you already know how epically great that game was, and how competitive this series is going to be. Quickly for those who don’t know, the Blackhawks took Game 1 in triple overtime! It was a game for the ages and it set the table for game 2. How could Game 2 live up to the expectations that Game 1 laid on top of its napkin you ask? Well, they mustered up another exhilarating overtime thriller, that’s how. The Boston Bruins evened up the series at 1 game a piece by winning 2-1 over Chicago. Boston allowed a lonely goal in the 1st period and then tightened up the defense for the rest of the contest. You can catch what should be another exciting game on Monday night on NBC. The puck drops at 8:00 p.m. in Boston. Enjoy!!

Now, ever since Thursday morning’s rain delayed U.S. Open got started, everyone was wondering and waiting for Tiger to make his push towards his 15th major. The only problem was that the push never came. Tiger didn’t start out too badly but played progressively worse as the week went on. Tiger finished with a career worst 72-hole score of +13. I guess we’ll all have to wait for the British Open to see if Tiger can end his 5 year drought without a major victory. His last major came at the U.S. Open in 2008 after beating Rocco Mediate in a ’19’ hole playoff. While Woods struggled with Mr. 3 Wiggle all weekend, Justin Rose minimized his mistakes and gutted out his 1st major victory. He won by 2 strokes (+1) over 2nd place finishers Jason Day and Phil Mickelson (both were +3). This is Phil’s 6th 2nd place finish at U.S. Open. Man that’s gotta suck! Anyway, job well done Justin Rose, and better luck next time Phil.

Sunday night’s NBA Finals Game 5 was one that was certain to bring big drama. The San Antonio Spurs and Miami Heat have exchanged wins all series, but everyone was expecting the Heat to carry their momentum from game 4 into game 5 and finally put this series out of reach. Boy were they wrong. Despite another solid performance from Dwyane Wade, the Spurs were simply too good for Miami. They basically carried the lead from wire to wire and won the game by a score of 114-104. San Antonio’s ‘Big 3’ hopped in their time machine and pulled a performance somewhere out of 2003. They scored a combined 67 points while arguably the Finals MVP at the moment, Danny Green, added 24 points of his own. Green hit another 6 3-pointers and surpassed Ray Allen as the all-time leader for 3-pointers in an NBA Finals. Manu Ginobili was inserted into the starting lineup and hit the Spurs first shot. He was off and running from there and never looked back. While the Spurs seemingly couldn’t miss, Lebron James went ice cold in the 2nd half. For the game he went a putrid 8-22 from the field, and will need to play a whole lot better if they plan on raising any more banners in Miami this year. You got what you asked for Lebron. Now all you have to do is execute. Good luck buddy, you’re going to need it.

If you enjoy my writing, follow me over to intheneutralzone.com where I am a contributing author there as well. Also you can follow me on twitter @DaveEttinger2 or like me on Facebook at http://www.Facebook.com/DaveTalksSports. Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoyed it!

One Liner Friday’s

Welcome back to another Friday edition of One Liners. Here you will find the past week in sports wrapped up in one line and one line only. Enjoy!

I hope the Nets won’t mind that Jason Kidd has to take a leave of absence from coaching to serve jail time for his pending DWI case.

Just because Tim Tebow plays for the New England Patriots doesn’t mean he’s all of a sudden going to be good at football.

Tom Brady doesn’t have any magic dust to sprinkle on Tebow’s arm that’s going to make him accurate.

What I’m trying to say is my mother throws a football better than Tim Tebow.

You might be laughing but that’s no joke; mom dukes has a cannon.

So Serena Williams is decent at tennis huh?

Rafael Nadal should only play tournaments on clay, and any other tournament he is asked to play in he should kindly reply, no gracias.

When one of your finals games goes to triple overtime and it’s not even the lead story on ESPN, you know your sports in trouble (sorry hockey).

Hey Roger Goodell you know what you should do, you should make a public statement that offends an entire race of people, yeah yeah do that, that’s smart.

Breaking News: Mark McGwire eats entire Diamondbacks pitching staff in one bite during benches clearing brawl.

So much for players policing themselves huh?

Yasiel Puig!!

Yes, Jaromir freaking Jagr is still in the NHL, and no he’s not just riding the bench to say he made a comeback, he played 33 minutes Wednesday night.

And yes, Jagr was that player known as that other guy who played on the Penguins with Lemieux back when you were a kid.

Does Thiago Splitter know how tall he is??

In the words of Bill Walton, “Throw it down big man, throw it down!”

Hey Dwyane Wade: are you hurt or are you not hurt, are you finished or are you not finished?

By the way, that kid Sebastian De La Cruz who sings the National Anthem at Spurs games is awesome.

(Read this one in that Spongebob narrator voice) 18 innings later……

The Yankees and Athletics love baseball so much they decided to play 2 games in 1.

Can I get a little golf here?

For those of you who don’t know (and I’m pretty sure that’s most of you), golf’s U.S. Open started on Thursday, sort of.

If it ever stops raining we might get to watch some golf.

I want to take a second to wish a very Happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there.

Sleep in, watch TV on the couch, go play golf, eat and drink whatever you want.

Whatever you do just make sure you enjoy your day.

If you enjoy my writing, follow me over to intheneutralzone.com where I am a contributing author there as well. Also you can follow me on twitter @DaveEttinger2 or like me on Facebook at http://www.Facebook.com/DaveTalksSports. Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoyed it!