The Film Room: Jared Gordon

By Kevin Wilson Nov 14, 2019
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Former Cage Fury Fighting Championships titleholder Jared Gordon on Saturday will attempt to capitalize on the most significant opportunity of his career when he confronts Charles Oliveira in a UFC Fight Night 164 lightweight feature in Sao Paulo, Brazil. The Ultimate Fighting Championship discovered Gordon on “Dana White: Lookin’ for a Fight,” and his remarkable story of overcoming drug addiction made him a quick fan favorite. He has compiled a respectable 3-2 record since he joined the promotion, but a victory over Oliveira would alter his life even further and afford him an even bigger platform to spread his message of hope and perseverance.

Gordon steps into the spotlight in this edition of The Film Room.

A pressuring head-to-toe striker who is comfortable on the counter and possesses the wrestling necessary to grind out decisions when needed, Gordon compares favorably to a pre-USADA Johny Hendricks. As a small lightweight, Gordon knows he must make the fight dirty and force exchanges in the pocket. He is constantly walking forward with jabs and right hands to get inside the guard of his opponents to force them to stand and trade. Gordon mixes up his strikes to the head and body while throwing in the occasional level-change feint. This is done to overload opponents with options and get their hands constantly moving up and down, with no idea where the next strike is targeted or if he is going to shoot for a takedown. Few fighters are comfortable enough to stay patient and look for counters, so they end up standing and trading with Gordon just like he wants them to.

Gordon had some success patiently trading in the pocket against Joaquim Silva, but overall, he is at his best when pressuring forward. Very few fighters are as comfortable as Gordon in a firefight, and he knows it is his biggest intangible.

Gordon also has some nice kicks in his arsenal, but he does not use them nearly enough. Since he relies on opponents standing and trading with him for success, leg kicks would serve as the perfect weapon to keep them from circling out of the pocket. He is a bit too short to be throwing head kicks, but some body kicks followed up by his right hand would help him close the distance and get the opponent in the pocket.

Gordon is also proficient on the counter and uses his pressuring style to draw out strikes from his opponents, which he can counter in the pocket. He mixes his counters to the head and body and even uses level changes while countering in the pocket. However, we do not figure to see many counters from Gordon in this fight since Oliveira is hard to force into the pocket. With that said, the Brazilian does like to establish the clinch, so watch for Gordon to swing some hooks over the top if Oliveira looks for the double-collar tie.

Gordon’s style comes with its fair share of risks. When trading in the pocket, you are always in danger of getting knocked out, and it is bound to catch up to you occasionally. You cannot have perfect defense when you rely on a chaotic fight, but overall, it works for Gordon. He could benefit from using a bull guard, like Justin Gaethje, and though it can be a dangerous technique, it allows you to take some strikes on the forearms while waiting for an opportunity to counter.

Gordon can win fights with his grappling. He prefers single-legs and likes to drive opponents to the cage and drag them to the mat. Oddly, Gordon likes to fake a level change when trading, but he almost never goes for counter takedowns in the pocket like he should. This sort of defeats the purpose of the fake level change, so it would behoove him to start incorporating them.

Gordon does not typically pursue submissions, choosing instead to posture up and beat up his opponents with ground-and-pound. He should avoid the ground as much as possible in this fight, but it would not be all that surprising to see him take top position and score a quick TKO. It has happened to Oliveira before. Advertisement


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