Jared Gordon went to Abu Dhabi with no corners this week. He walked away from his UFC Fight Island 1 bout with Chris Fishgold with his hand raised, a unanimous decision victory improving him to 2-1 over his last three fights.
The way things came together for Gordon in Abu Dhabi is nothing short of incredible. UFC lightweight turned analyst Paul Felder stepped away from his broadcast duties for the fight, moving to Gordon’s corner. Alongside him, Gary Tonon, one of the world’s best BJJ competitors as well as a ONE Championship athlete, and coach Eric Nicksick of Xtreme Couture, stepped up.
Gordon recounted the crazy turn of events following his victory, speaking to Cageside Press in a virtual media scrum.
“So I lost all my corners due to the [corona]virus. When Gilbert Burns was supposed to fight, they all went with him and then they were going to stay and corner me,” he explained. “But when they got to Vegas, it was a red flag. Everyone tested positive besides Herbert Burns, but he slept in the room with Gilbert the night before, so they wouldn’t let him get on the plane obviously, because he was exposed to the virus.”
Gordon was supposed to travel to Abu Dhabi last Sunday. The Friday before that, he took a phone call from UFC. “What do you want to do?” they inquired. “You lost all your cornermen.” Gordon asked if he even needed a corner. “But I knew Paul was gonna be here,” he added.
Gordon made the call, and Felder, who Gordon called one of his best friends as well as a former teammate, said he’d corner him if the UFC let him step away from the desk. “So that’s how it happened. UFC let him get off the desk, come and corner me, and it worked out.”
Gordon also wound up with Gary Tonon in his corner as well, as Tonon was in Abu Dhabi cornering another fighter. Gordon had trained with him in the past, “so he knew my game, he knew what I was good at, what we should watch out for. He’s a genius. That guillotine defense I showed today, we went over that non-stop.”
Nicksick, meanwhile, was on Fight Island to corner Dan Ige in the main event. “It worked out, man. It was an insane time,” Gordon finished.
Watch the full UFC Fight Island 1 virtual post-fight press scrum with Jared Gordon above.