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Eddie Gordon thrives on hectic schedule

MMA light heavyweight Eddie Gordon, of Freeport, trains

MMA light heavyweight Eddie Gordon, of Freeport, trains with Eric Hyer at Ray Longo's MMA Academy in Garden City for his upcoming Ring of Combat title defense. (Sept. 6, 2012) Credit: James Escher

Of this much Eddie Gordon is assured each weekday: He will take his two boys to their elementary school in Freeport.

After that, well, pretty much anything is possible on a daily basis for the aspiring mixed martial artist who has joint custody of his sons DJ, 8, and Jayden, 7, and whose two jobs have joint custody of him.

"My schedule's ridiculous," said Gordon, 30. "There's never a day that I know exactly where I'm going to be, unless it's a scheduled day off. It's nuts. I think I like the controlled chaos, man."

Gordon works as a home remodeling consultant, on call six days a week . He trains in mixed martial arts, in the gym multiple times a day. Gordon likened the balancing act of what are essentially two full-time jobs -- albeit not traditional 9-to-5ers -- to when he starred at Fordham as a defensive lineman while earning a degree in finance in the mid-2000s. He weighed 270 pounds then. Now, he fights as a 185-pound middleweight.

At any point, Gordon could get a call to go to work. He could be in the middle of a sparring session at Ray Longo and Chris Weidman's Power MMA in Garden City. He could be in the middle of a Brazilian Jiujitsu training session at Matt Serra's academy in either Levittown or Huntington. He could be hitting pads with Eric Hyer. He just simply could be out for a training run somewhere near the home he moved into last September after his previous home in Freeport was damaged by superstorm Sandy.

"I live by the hour," Gordon said. "It's almost like I'm at peace. When I was training full time for fighting, I felt like I had too much off time. It's weird."

Gordon had some off time late last year. How much depends on what we see Wednesday night when the 19th season of "The Ultimate Fighter" premieres. If he wins the fight to get onto the show for the entire season -- which was taped in October and November and will air over the next few months -- Gordon's schedule would be quite set in stone. Train, train, rest, train.

There would be no more calls. No more phones, either. No television, no Twitter, no Instagram, no contact with his sons. The payoff, however, for the UFC's reality competition series is this: a guaranteed six-figure contract to the show's winner.

Gordon had tried out for Season 17, which was supposed to feature both light heavyweights and middleweights. At the time, Gordon (6-1) competed at light heavyweight. That season, which aired from January to April in 2013, wound up featuring just middleweights.

"That ate at me watching that show," Gordon said. "It ate at me. Sure enough, I got the opportunity of a lifetime again, so it worked out."

TUF 19 will showcase middleweights and light heavyweights. Making it to the group of 32 contestants who fight for the 16 spots on this season gave Gordon a feeling he hadn't experienced in nearly four years. Stepping into that Octagon, even one that's just in a Las Vegas warehouse with little to no crowd beyond those connected to the show, brought Gordon's young fighting career full circle.

"I thought I would never get that high from my first fight," Gordon said. "That was completely wrong."


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