LAS VEGAS - Eddie Gordon and Dhiego Lima shared a room in the house on Season 19 of “The Ultimate Fighter.”
Both said they talked about making it to this moment – the show’s finale at Mandalay Bay with a guaranteed six-figure UFC contract on the line.
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The bond they formed during this six weeks in the house, and the eight months following, mattered little Sunday night at the Ultimate Finale 19.
Gordon, from Freeport, came out swinging and connected on several huge haymakers, the first of which was an overhand right that wobbled Lima and led to a first-round knockout. The stoppage came 1:11 into the fight.
By winning the fight, Gordon becomes the Season 19 middleweight winner and earns a guaranteed six-figure contract with the UFC.
“I knew Dhiego was tough, but he’s no Chris Weidman,” Gordon said. “I’m lucky enough to train with the best camp in the world.”
Gordon trains with Ray Longo and Matt Serra, same as Weidman, the UFC middleweight champion. Gordon and Weidman are sparring partners.
Gordon is the second Long Islander to win “The Ultimate Fighter.” Serra was the first.
"This win is not only for me, it is a win dedicated to my coaches, my family, my teammates and all the people that were behind me," Gordon said. "So it was awesome."
Gordon (7-1) continued the early onslaught of Lima (10-2) with impressive striking. He connected with a right uppercut that staggered Lima and put him against the cage. Gordon did not relent, taking control of Lima with his right arm and launching a left-handed ground and pound attack until the referee stopped the fight.
"I've had guys tell me I don’t want to spar Chris Weidman, they're just afraid to spar him," Longo said. "Eddie jumps right in there, whether he takes a beating or not. He gets in there he does his thing. He’s always a gamer.”