Jared Gordon is an American MMA and lightweight champion of both the Duelo De Giagantes in Mexico as well as for the Cage Fury Fighting in the U.S. Gordon was born and raised in Queens, New York and began recreational wrestling at a young age; he always had a huge passion for the sport and hoped to one day fight in the big leagues. He eventually moved on to compete in amateur MMA fights while teaching boxing and martial arts before turning professional. During his high school years, Gordon taught boxing and Mau Tai, training relentlessly and at the age of 17 he fought in his first-ever MMA fight.

Dana White, the President of Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), scouted Jared on a web series that was dedicated to UFC called “Dana White: Looking for a Fight”. Gordon made quite the impression, and won the Featherweight title that very night. White signed him onto the UFC right after that. Things were finally falling into place for Jared and his all-time dream of becoming a UFC fighter was coming to fruition.

Jared’s Substance Abuse

Gordon was no exception to the brutality that came with being a professional boxer which means he endured his fair share of serious injuries. To cope with the intense pain of the injuries that came with fighting, he was prescribed prescription painkillers which ultimately spiraled him into full-on addiction by the age of 19. By the age of 21, the fighter turned to heroin. Struggling with such a serious addiction resulted in homelessness where he would panhandle on local streets in an effort to support his habit. Heroin, being a dangerously addictive and often fatal illicit drug, caused Gordon three overdoses before he realized that he needed help.

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I overdosed three times. I was facing 25 years to life at one point. I’ve been homeless, panhandling, I’ve been to psych wards. I’ve been to rehab 10 times, and I’ve had near-death situations.

- Jared Gordon

Overcoming Addiction: The Road to Recovery

After truly reaching rock bottom, Gordon knew there was no other option; he had to get clean. He did not only need to sober up for his health but in order to partake in the one thing he had an unwavering passion for, he had to.

Gordon has been sober for 4 years now and has become an advocate for sobriety. He leverages his platform and large following to share his story in hopes that it will influence individuals to make the right decision to seek help. Continually addressing his recovery from substance abuse allows him to maintain his sobriety as it is a constant reminder of where he once was and how far he has come.

I do certain things every day that help me stay grounded. That’s my foundation. Without sobriety, there’s no UFC. There’s no MMA in the local circuit. There’s nothing for me. The way I use drugs and alcohol, I’ll die or end up in prison. Because that’s all I’ve had so far – it’s overdoses and institutions.

- Jared Gordon

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