Queens native Jared Gordon is taking massive steps toward UFC stardom

The Pandemic Period of the UFC has decidedly gone Jared Gordon’s means.

The Astoria, Queens native is 3-0 over the previous two years — the longest unbeaten stretch of his tenure with promotion. He’s competing at a extra comfy weight: 155 kilos. He even obtained married “American Ninja Warrior” veteran Christina Gambino whom he’s recognized since first grade in late October.

Gordon (18-4, eight finishes) can hold the new streak occurring Saturday at UFC Apex in Las Vegas with a win over Grant Dawson, his opponent for a main-card bout set to air on ESPN and stream on ESPN+ (7 p.m. begin).

Even Gordon’s final defeat is ageing higher lately than when it occurred in November 2019, when a surging Charles Oliveira knocked the New Yorker out within the first spherical. Inside 18 months, the Brazilian nicknamed “do Bronx” was the light-weight champion. He’s set to defend his belt subsequent weekend within the UFC 274 pay-per-view headliner towards Justin Gaethje.

Oliveira’s win over Gordon marked his sixth in a row, as the longer term champion was lastly realizing the potential many had seen in him practically a decade earlier. And, as Gordon tells it, Gambino noticed it coming whilst many beforehand had written him off.

“It’s bizarre as a result of, after the struggle, my spouse was like, ‘He’s gonna be the champion,’ ” Gordon not too long ago informed The Publish through Zoom. “… It nearly sounds good. ‘Oh, my final loss was [to] Charles Oliveira.’ ”

Jared Gordon (proper) punches Danny Chavez in a featherweight bout through the UFC Struggle Night time occasion at UFC APEX on February 20, 2021.
Zuffa LLC

Clearly, Gordon wouldn’t thoughts that remaining his newest defeat in perpetuity. To maintain it that means within the brief time period, he’ll must navigate his well past Dawson (17-1-1, 15 finishes), who equally to Gordon has outgrown the featherweight division and settled up a weight class. 

Gordon’s unique scheduled opponent, Rafael Alves, bowed out for undisclosed causes about 5 weeks earlier than struggle evening. Although not unusual, an opponent change isn’t supreme. Nonetheless, there’s loads of upside in now dealing with Dawson, who’s unbeaten in six UFC fights in comparison with Alves’ 1-1 mark with the promotion. 

Not that Gordon views both opponent as simpler than the opposite, viewing each males as robust. But it surely’s plain to see how far more of a springboard to greater and higher issues a win over Dawson can be than one over Alves, and even different potential opponents the UFC had tried to e-book towards him.

“Grant stepped in, and I used to be positively comfortable,” mentioned Gordon, who now lives and trains in Florida. “Stylistically, it’s an excellent struggle for me. And he’s obtained far more of a reputation than any of the blokes that [UFC] had given me [after Alves withdrew].”

Even the bumps within the street are going Gordon’s means recently, it will appear.

The 33-year-old has designs on coming into the rankings earlier than later as he — like all 155-pounders on the UFC roster — chases down Oliveira’s gold. His is arguably essentially the most loaded weight class in blended martial arts, in order that’s no straightforward feat. However Dawson occupies a spot inside the highest 25 from each Tapology and Struggle Matrix, which each compile deeper rankings than many shops and embody fighters from all promotions. A victory might vault Gordon to extra of the career-advancing bouts he craves.

“After I win,” Gordon declares, “I feel I ought to get a top-15 [opponent]. I’ll deserve it at that time.”

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