Lightweights Jared Gordon and Mark O. Madsen both entered Saturday’s UFC 295 looking for a return to the win column.
Of course, for Gordon, the chance to fight at the fabled Madison Square Garden in New York was more than just a chance to right the ship. Gordon grew up in the city, training for a time at Renzo Gracie’s jiu-jitsu academy not far from MSG.
A recovered addict who turned his life around, the chance to fight at home had been a long time coming for “Flash” Gordon, and was another milestone in a remarkable personal journey.
Early on, former Olympian Madsen found success with knees in the clinch, repeatedly drilling Gordon with several. Clinch work would be key for the Danish lightweight, as he was able to put his weight on the American. A left hand was there for Madsen as well, in a strong first half to the opening round for Mark O. Madsen.
The second half of the frame was a different story entirely. Gordon found success late, landing an uppercut that appeared to wobble Madsen. Then, against the fence, Gordon landed an elbow, and a right hand that finally dropped Madsen. No follow-up was required; Madsen was clearly done and Jared Gordon had arguably the biggest win of his career, and certainly on the biggest stage possible.
“I grew up in this city, New York, New York. You made me. Astoria, Queens. Stand up! My grandfather fought in this stadium four times,” Gordon called out after the win, noting that he used to shoot drugs at Penn Station under MSG. “Now I’m fighting in it, and knocking guys out. You can do anything you want if you put your mind to it and have a little faith in God.”
That win should help erase the sour taste left by a No Contest against Bobby Green, and controversial loss to Paddy Pimblett.
Official Result: Jared Gordon def. Mark O. Madsen by TKO, Round 1, 4:42