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UFC 278’s Jared Gordon gets honest about MMA career: ‘It’s made my life worse’

Jared Gordon loves mixed martial arts (MMA) but admits the highs are only temporary.

“Flash” returns to action this weekend (Sat., Aug. 20, 2022) at UFC 278 in Salt Lake City, Utah, taking on Leonardo Santos. Before that, Gordon addressed the media at the event’s media day on Wednesday (Aug. 17, 2022). In a very open and honest manner, the Lightweight hopeful explained why the sport he competes in hasn’t been beneficial.

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“MMA hasn’t helped me at all. Actually, it’s made my life worse. I’m not even joking,” Gordon said (h/t MMA Junkie). “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.”

Against Santos, Gordon will look to get back to his winning ways after a tough third round submission defeat to Grant Dawson earlier this year. Ultimately, the wins and losses aren’t for him, however.

Gordon, 33, has been very open about his personal struggles with drug addiction in his early life and continues to be an advocate for sober living in 2022 as a recovered addict. Having gone through all the experiences he has, the Queens, New York native draws similarities between the two different lifestyles he’s lived.

“It’s like drugs,” Gordon said of MMA. “I’ve got to look for another fix. Alright, ‘what’s next?’ You see it all the time. 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,” he continued. “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 s—t doesn’t do anything for me — my car, I’m wearing a Rolex right now. I’m wearing this just for this. 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.”

Remember that will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 278 fight card right here, starting with the early ESPN+ “Prelims” matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. ET, then the remaining undercard balance on ABC/ESPN+ at 8 p.m. ET, before the PPV main card start time at 10 p.m. ET on ESPN+ PPV.

To check out the latest and greatest UFC 278: “Usman vs. Edwards 2” news and notes be sure to hit up our comprehensive event archive right here.

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