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SportsMixed Martial Arts

Freeport’s Eddie Gordon finds his ‘purpose’ in MMA return

Freeport's Eddie Gordon, right, fights Chris Dempsey in

Freeport's Eddie Gordon, right, fights Chris Dempsey in a middleweight bout at UFC on Fox 15 at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J., on April 18, 2015. Photo Credit: Mario Gonzalez

After 10 years as a dad, Freeport’s Eddie Gordon knows the joys and challenges of being a parent.

After the past three weeks as a father to newborn son Jaxson, Gordon knows things are different this time.

“When I started fighting, my kids were 4, 5 years old, they kind of knew what was going on,” said Gordon, a past “Ultimate Fighter” season winner. “Now, there’s a newborn. It’s a big difference, but I look at it as an advantage.”

Wait, feedings, diaper changes and random crying fits at a time when infomercials fill the TV stations are an advantage for a professional athlete training for his first mixed martial arts bout in more than a year?

“I’ve got more of a meaning, more of a purpose, more of a why to why I’m doing this,” Gordon said. “I want to make sure he has a great life, he doesn’t have to want for anything. And, he doesn’t have to fight for a living.

“If you’re doing anything in this world without a purpose, without a why, why you doing it? If you want to just be a fighter, that can’t be your means in life. There has to be a bigger purpose. Me leaving a legacy for my kids is everything to me.”

Gordon (8-4) will fight Chris Lozano (10-3) in a middleweight co-main event at CFFC 60 on Saturday at the Borgata in Atlantic City. It is Gordon’s first bout since losing three straight fights and being cut from the UFC last October.

The time away from MMA gave Gordon a chance to think about what’s next for him and to explore new ventures. He partnered with a friend to start a sourcing company in China and became an affiliate for Javita, a direct-sales coffee company. Gordon said he manages more than 300 distributors for Javita.

Yet something was missing for the 33-year-old former football player.

“I started two businesses and I missed it,” Gordon said. I just literally missed fighting. This opportunity with CFFC came about. It’s so close to home. They made me a great offer. You know what, I love to compete, why not do it?”

Gordon graduated from Fordham with a business degree. He was in the business world before that day years ago when he bumped into Chris Weidman, then at the beginning of an MMA career that led to becoming UFC middleweight champion, at a Long Island gym and asked what he was up to in life.

So Gordon knows a good deal when he sees one. His contract with Cage Fury Fighting Championships is for one fight.

“It’s like being a free agent every fight, I get to pick and choose when I fight and where I fight,” said Gordon, who added that he doesn’t see himself fighting five or six years from now. “It’s a huge benefit for me. And I love having sponsors. That’s another avenue that’s open with them, so that’s cool.”

Since July 2015, UFC fighters are allowed to only wear Reebok gear, their official apparel company, during fight week and UFC sponsored events. Fighters do receive financial compensation for the deal, but in many cases, it does not match what some fighters were able to earn from other sponsors before the Reebok deal began.

Gordon had four fights in the UFC, including that glorious July night in 2014 when he knocked out Dhiego Lima in 71 seconds to win Season 19 of “The Ultimate Fighter.” If he were still in the UFC, he would earn $2,500 in Reebok sponsor money since he still has less than five fights in the promotion.

“I’m making that from one sponsor,” Gordon said about his fight Saturday. “Some guy’s going to pay thousands of dollars to be in a magazine they don’t know if someone’s going to pick up and read. When it comes to a fight, they know exactly the target audience, the amount of viewers. It’s very sellable. It’s easy.”

However long Gordon decides to fight will be up to him. But he does have one specific goal in MMA: fight in New York.

“I want somebody to jump on the train, be right there at the arena, watch it, turn around and go home,” Gordon said. “To me, that’s priceless. I want to fight in front of my friends and family. I’m tired of spending all that money on my kids just to go and see me perform.”

New York Sports