One of the big questions going into UFC Fight Night: Kara-France vs. Albazi this week was, why is Jared Gordon fighting Jim Miller? Matchmakers originally booked a lightweight UFC fight between Miller and striking specialist L’udovit Klein for the card, but had to find a replacement once Klein withdrew from the bout. Why they lit on Gordon, little more than a month removed from his brutal, concussive collision with Bobby Green is anyone’s guess.
Perhaps Shelby & Maynard simply forgot what happened. After all, the last entry on Gordon’s record at this point is a simple no contest. There’s little on paper that would immediately call back to mind how ‘Flash’ was sent completely stiff by Green after a clash of heads and a couple brutal followup punches late in the first round of their bout. Of course, fighters being who they are, it’s not hard to imagine as well, that Gordon himself was eager to get back in the cage and set his record straight.
Jared Gordon out of UFC fight night after revealing interview
Speaking to the press on media day for his upcoming UFC fight with Jim Miller on this Saturday’s UFC Apex event, Gordon gave a candid account of where he was at physically and why he decided to jump back into the Octagon so soon after his loss to Green. It may just be that his interview was a little too candid for comfort.
“I got a call from my manager,” Gordon said, speaking of his quick turnaround. “He was like, ‘Do you want to fight Jim Miller?’ I was like, ‘When?’ It was 17 days notice. I was like, ‘Well, let me get on the scale, see what I weigh.’ I was like, ‘Ehh, maybe I should go for a run before I get back to my manager.’
“I was 193 lbs. when I got on the scale; super bloated, eating like an animal. But, I was training, I got back in the gym fast. So, I’m in shape. I was in shape, but the weight was a questionable issue. But, I’m good, weight’s good.”
It wasn’t just the insane weight cut that Gordon appears to have put himself through to make fight week that was a problem, however. The fighter also talked about his loss to Green, saying that while he had a “minor concussion” he felt recovered quickly and got a new deal from the UFC for taking this bout on short notice. Essentially, it was worth the risk to make the quick turn.
“I had a minor concussion, but I got over the symptoms fairly quickly,” Gordon explained. “I did everything I could to recover; supplements, I was in a hyperbaric chamber for the last six weeks. At this point my career, I was like—sometimes you gotta risk it a little bit, right, to get what you want? I think a little bit of risk is not too bad. I’m risking it anyways going in there, even if I didn’t have that outcome six weeks ago. So, I’m like, ‘Let’s do it.’
“And this is what we do. We fight, I make a living doing this, that’s another reason to do it. They gave me a new contract, the UFC; another deal, and a bump in pay, and I think it was worth it. I should have been 3-0 on that [previous] contract. I beat Leo Santos, I beat Paddy—but I lost—and then this one, I was on my way to winning the Bobby one. So I would have had leverage. I was 1-1-0 (1 NC) after that. This was just a great opportunity for me to get another contract and get back in there with a legend in Jim Miller. And I think, stylistically, it’s a great fight for me.”
Gordon pulled, Miller gets new opponent
Shortly after Gordon’s interview started making waves, reports surfaced that the Kill Cliff FC talent had been removed from his fight against Jim Miller. No reason for Gordon’s removal was made public, but it seems like it may have been hard to justify keeping the man on the card after his public reminder that he was recently badly concussed.
Unfortunately, NSAC medical suspensions from Gordon’s fight with Green were not publicly disclosed, so it’s unclear how long he was supposed to be out of competition. Most likely he would have been handed at least a 30-day minimum no-contact suspension, a supposition that only raises more red flags with Gordon’s admission that he went right back to training after his KO. Especially, too, since—assuming he meant 17-days notice ahead of June 3rd—that would mean the UFC offered Gordon the fight on May 18th, just 26-days after his fight with Green.
In Gordon’s place, Eurosport’s Marcel Dorff reports that Miller will take on UFC newcomer Jesse Butler. Butler (12-4) is a featherweight out of West Monroe, LA, training out of the local Kron Gracie Jiu Jitsu affiliate school. Butler most recently had a 3-fight run under the Fury FC banner, including a recent first round KO victory over UFC vet Masio Fullen.
UFC Fight Night: Kara-France vs. Albazi is set to take place this Saturday, June 3rd at the Apex facility in Las Vegas, NV. The card will feature the UFC’s first non-title flyweight main event since 2017. A featherweight bout between Alex Caceres and Daniel Pineda is expected for the co-main.
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