Despite his efforts earlier this year, Jared Gordon will not be returning to the featherweight division.
Instead “Flash” will be facing off against Joaquim Silva in a lightweight bout on Dec. 15 at UFC on FOX 31. The decision to stay in the 155-pound class didn’t come easy and it was Gordon’s new coach Duke Roufus that ultimately convinced him otherwise.
“The UFC and the UFC Performance Institute actually gave me the go-ahead to go back down to featherweight and they were going to support me in the process.” Gordon told MMA News. “But then I moved to Milwaukee and I started training at Roufusport. Duke Roufus my head coach was like “Nope, I don’t want you cutting all the weight.” So after doing all that, the mock weight cut and basically begging to get back down to 145-pounds. Turns out that I’m staying at 155-pounds. But hey you know what? He’s a legendary coach for a reason and he probably knows what’s best for me. So I went along with it.”
Gordon (14-2) is coming off his first loss in the octagon against Carlos Diego Ferreira, where he was finished in the first round at UFC Fight Night 126. Prior to that, the New York native was riding a five-fight win streak, including back-to-back victories in the UFC.
He faces an opponent in Silva who also had his winning streak snapped in his last bout against Vinc Pichel at UFC Fight Night 109. While Gordon respects his opponent, he doesn’t think The Ultimate Fighter Brazil competitor will bring anything different to the table.
“He’s a tough guy, not someone you can just look past. He’s had some decent opposition, he’s 3-1 in the UFC. He was on The Ultimate Fighter Brazil so he has experience. Stylistically it works really well for me. He’s more of a runner where I’m coming forward to beat you up and take you down. It definitely poses some problems as far as executing my game plan. But it’s nothing I’ve never seen. Even before I got to Roufusport I was training with monsters and I was 14-2 before I got there. Basically I’ve seen everything you’re going to see in a fight. But yeah he does nothing that I’ve never seen. But he’s still a tough opponent and I respect him.”
Fighting in his newly adopted home of Milwaukee on Dec. 15, Gordon says he’s predicting a finish, which is something he hasn’t experienced in a victory since his UFC debut last year.
“I see the first round being a scrappy round. I think I’m going to have to wear his gas tank out. I see a second, third round finish TKO, for me.”
UFC on FOX 31 takes place Dec. 15 at Wisconsin Entertainment and Sports Center in Milwaukee, WI. The main event features a rematch in the lightweight division as Kevin Lee faces Al Iaquinta.