fbpx

The Nameless Recovery Show
Episode #11 Jared Gordon

Cocaine Seizures, Reconstructive Surgery & Fighting Sober in UFC.

Jared fights in 5 days! February 20, 2021 Jared Gordon vs. Danny Chavez (16-4-0) vs. (11-3-0) MMA Featherweight Bout UFC Fight Night: Blaydes vs. Lewis UFC APEX, Las Vegas, Nevada 06:00 PM ET

Estil Wallace:

… I’ll tell you that.

Jared Flash Gordon:

That’s how it turned out. All right, did we start?

Estil Wallace:

We’re going to start now.

Jared Flash Gordon:

All right.

Estil Wallace:

We’re rolling right into another episode-

Jared Flash Gordon:

Cool.

Estil Wallace:

… 2021. Welcome back to The Nameless Recovery Show. My esteemed, famed, and honorable guest, Jared Flash Gordon.

Jared Flash Gordon:

I don’t know about esteemed or famed, but…

Estil Wallace:

You’re pretty famous.

Jared Flash Gordon:

I guess I’ll take honorable.

Estil Wallace:

You have a Wikipedia page.

Jared Flash Gordon:

I’m not famous.

Estil Wallace:

You’re-

Jared Flash Gordon:

I like to say I’m popular.

Estil Wallace:

Popular.

Jared Flash Gordon:

Yeah, because I’m not really famous.

Estil Wallace:

No, people don’t stop you [crosstalk 00:00:31]?

Jared Flash Gordon:

If you’re a diehard Heavily Meditated fan you probably know me, but if you’re just…

Estil Wallace:

I mentioned your name to a couple of people, they’re like, “Why you going to Florida?” “I’m going to go interview this guy Flash Gordon.” “The fighter?” I was like, “Yeah.” They’re like, “Fuck, yeah.”

Jared Flash Gordon:

Oh, were they in recovery?

Estil Wallace:

Yeah.

Jared Flash Gordon:

Yeah. If you’re a junkie or if you’re a serious MMA fan, then you probably know me.

Estil Wallace:

Right. That’s why we’re talking because you’re a professional athlete, you’re in recovery, and I think the world needs to hear more about recovery and addiction from people that aren’t necessarily holding signs by the freeway ramp.

Jared Flash Gordon:

All right.

Estil Wallace:

Well, so you were born in Queens, New York.

Jared Flash Gordon:

I was born in Manhattan.

Estil Wallace:

Born in Manhattan. Wikipedia’s wrong.

Jared Flash Gordon:

Yeah, I guess. I was born in Manhattan. I lived in Nassau County, which is on Long Island. Moved to Queens when I was 13 or 14.

Estil Wallace:

Okay, you were actually already getting into your-

Jared Flash Gordon:

Yeah, yeah.

Estil Wallace:

… getting into your life, fitting into your skin.

Jared Flash Gordon:

Oh, definitely. Yeah, yeah.

Estil Wallace:

13, 14, by that age you’re already fighting.

Jared Flash Gordon:

On the street. I wasn’t competitively fighting yet.

Estil Wallace:

And you started competitively fighting when you were 16, 17?

Jared Flash Gordon:

17. I had my first amateur fight.

Estil Wallace:

And what was in your repertoire then? Was it striking? Were you Muay Thai [crosstalk 00:01:59]?

Jared Flash Gordon:

No, I was just more of a grappler.

Estil Wallace:

More of a grappler. [crosstalk 00:02:03]

Jared Flash Gordon:

Yeah, I mean, I know how to-

Estil Wallace:

Ju-jitsu?

Jared Flash Gordon:

Yeah, ju-jitsu, yeah. I knew how to throw my hands or had an idea of how to throw my hands, but I wasn’t a good striker at that point. I’m still not, really.

Estil Wallace:

According to Strout.

Jared Flash Gordon:

If Jason knew me then, he would be like, “This guy’s got to get a new job.”

Estil Wallace:

We’re going to put the camera on Strout.

Jason Strout:

I’m not [crosstalk 00:02:27]-

Jared Flash Gordon:

This is Coach Strout. Coach Strout. Coach Jason Strout.

Jason Strout:

I didn’t even look at him [crosstalk 00:02:33]. Make judgment off of.

Jared Flash Gordon:

He’s been with me through a lot of my ups and downs, my best ups and downs.

Estil Wallace:

Well, it was a pleasure to hang out with you guys and eat some sushi, man, last night and talk shit and exchange stories.

Jared Flash Gordon:

Yeah, same. Thank you.

Estil Wallace:

So you’re a teenager. You’re living in New York. You’re fighting on the street. What made you decide, “Man, I really want to compete. This is something I want to follow.” Do you remember any kind of a turning point?

Jared Flash Gordon:

Yeah. So for me it was I had a knack… So I wrestled and I boxed a little bit as a kid.

Estil Wallace:

Like in high school?

Jared Flash Gordon:

Yeah, I wrestled. Well, I wrestled in middle school, but all my friends were high school wrestlers.

Estil Wallace:

Gotcha.

Jared Flash Gordon:

And I moved to Queens and there was no wrestling program in the city at that point. It was all like city sports, basketball, hand ball was huge in my school. Like literal hand ball.

Estil Wallace:

And you’re like, “I’m not going to fucking play that.”

Jared Flash Gordon:

I didn’t play those sports. But at that point in my life, I wasn’t really into athletics. I was always athletic as a kid, but at that point, I was already into my drug addiction. I thought I was a hustler or whatever I thought. The girls, partying, that’s what I was into at that point, and making money. I remember there were times where I’d be like going to high school and Queens especially, and I used to have to take the subway. I’d have to walk from my house, get on the subway, and go to high school, which was like a 15 minute subway ride away from home.

Estil Wallace:

Sure.

Jared Flash Gordon:

So I’m on the train with all these business people. They’re all going to Manhattan, all these other kids, and so at any point and time, I could just say, “Yeah, I’m not going to school today,” and just get off at whatever stop and go do what I want. But I always had my headphones one, and I always had this feeling inside of me like, “This isn’t it. High school, I got to do this because of my parents,” and that’s what you do when you’re that age. You go to high school and you graduate so maybe you can go to college or do something else. But I always had this feeling like there’s something bigger or there’s another way for me to do this, and I always thought to myself, “I’m not going to college.” I didn’t want to go to college. I thought it was a waste of time for me at least.

Jared Flash Gordon:

I was using that feeling and energy in the wrong way. I was like, “I know what I have to do. I have to sell drugs so I can make a bunch of-“

Estil Wallace:

Fighting wasn’t on the horizon.

Jared Flash Gordon:

No, not yet. So I could make a bunch of money and open up a business. I’m like, “I know-“

Estil Wallace:

You’d be an entrepreneur.

Jared Flash Gordon:

Yeah, like, “I got to make money.” I did anything to make money. I would go on vacations with my parents to Caribbean Islands, and I would bring back 50 cartons of cigarettes. And I would be one pack cigarettes for like $2 each, and I’d be selling them for $8. I would bring a bag and my book bag would be full of packs of cigarettes, and I’d be in school hustling cigarettes. Lucy’s, everything. I was selling weed. By the time I was 13, I was selling cocaine. I was watching Scarface. I thought I was going to be like… That’s just my mind frame was a the time.

Jared Flash Gordon:

Then I graduated high school somehow by the skin of… I graduated with a 65.1, which is like in New York, that’s like .1 away from failing.

Estil Wallace:

Gotcha.

Jared Flash Gordon:

So I graduated with like a D- from high school. I actually got accepted to a college to do… I was working at a pharmacy actually. I always worked at a pharmacy, and I was stealing everything, Xanax, Vicodin. I was stealing everything, then I was selling it.

Estil Wallace:

I wish we were neighbors then.

Jared Flash Gordon:

Yeah. I wasn’t into painkillers at the time, but I was taking Xanax and Klonopins, and I was selling them. In my senior year of high school, I drank like a bunch of alcohol. So to get back to your first question, and I got super fat. I was like funneling beer. High school shit. I graduated. I was going into summer, and I remember being like, “Geez, I got fat. I got to do something.” And at the time, the UFC was blowing up. The Ultimate Fighter Show, and any chance I got to watch MMA, I was watching it. Pride, The Ultimate Fighter.

Jared Flash Gordon:

Stephan Bonnar versus Forrest Griffin, and I remember watching that fight and being like, “Oh my god.” Then I remember Frankie Edgar, who was my favorite fighter, was fighting, and I remember he fought Tyson Griffin. It was his first UFC fight, and he won. I remember thinking, “Geez,” I was like, “I’m like his size, 5’6″.” I remember thinking he was such an underdog, and I knew. I was like, “This guy’s going to be the UFC Champion, and that was in 2006 or 2007. And then he went to become the champion.

Jared Flash Gordon:

My friend was like, “We should go to a boxing gym,” and I’m like, “Yeah.” At that time, I wanted to work out to lose this weight that I had gained, but I didn’t want to go to a gym. I didn’t want to lift weights. Fighting was something that I wanted to do. I went to a Church Street Boxing Gym with my friend, which is all the way downtown of Manhattan. It took like 45 minutes to an hour to get there on the subway, and I went there, I checked it out, but I was like, “This is too far for me. I can’t go all the way down here every day.”

Jared Flash Gordon:

So I came home and I stumbled out to the subway. I wasn’t drunk or anything. I came out of the subway, and I remember walking and I looked up and there it was Combined Martial Arts right on Steinway Street in Astoria, Queens, which is where I grew up. And I was like, “Oh.” I didn’t even know it was there. I walked in and the guy at the front desk, Steve Cats. He owned the gym, and it was Combined Martial Arts: Home of the Rhino Fight Scene. And he was like, “Yeah, Frankie Edgar started here.” And I was like, “What?” Joined right away.

Jared Flash Gordon:

I had my first ju-jitsu class that following Monday. I threw up everywhere because I was exhausted. I remember eating a bunch of tuna fish and-

Estil Wallace:

And how old are you?

Jared Flash Gordon:

… eggs. I was like, “I got to put protein in my body.” And I went and I did the class, and I threw up everywhere. And I was hooked. I was 17.

Estil Wallace:

And that’s when you were 17.

Jared Flash Gordon:

So I was like, “This is it.” And I remember rolling with this kid, wrestling with this kid who had already been training for a while, and I was like kicking his ass. And he was like, “Man, you’re…” and he was like way bigger than me.

Estil Wallace:

He’s like, “You’re really good at this.”

Jared Flash Gordon:

He was like, “Wow, man. You’re a wrestler?” And I’m like, “I wrestled, but I’m not a wrestler by any means.” I wasn’t a wrestler at that point. And that was it. I remember, wow. I think I could be good at this.

Estil Wallace:

I’m a high school student with poor grades.

Jared Flash Gordon:

Yeah, basically. Yeah. And then I trained for four months every day. I was only doing boxing and ju-jitsu because I was taking classes, and they had a team and I was training with the fighters.

Estil Wallace:

I failed high school, by the way. So place no judgment. You made it through at least.

Jared Flash Gordon:

No one I know really passed. So Steve Cats was like, “Do you want to fight? I’ll give you a fight.” This was four months into training, and I was like, “Yeah. Of course, I’ll fight.” And I remember thinking, “All right. This is going to be like a bucket list thing. Yeah, that sounds awesome.” And I remember, I went and I fought. And I was 17.

Estil Wallace:

It’d be like a bucket list thing.

Jared Flash Gordon:

Yeah, my parents had to sign a waiver because I was underage, and I fought a kid that was 26 or 27.

Estil Wallace:

Get the fuck out.

Jared Flash Gordon:

And I remember being like, “Holy shit. This kid’s going to kick my ass.” I went in there and I whooped his ass. I remember hitting him and his eye just swelled up.

Estil Wallace:

It was boxing. It was striking.

Jared Flash Gordon:

No. It was MMA.

Estil Wallace:

Okay.

Jared Flash Gordon:

It was in the Rahway Convention Center across the street from the Rahway Penitentiary, which is in New Jersey, so right over the bridge at the time. MMA was illegal in New York. So we had to travel to PA or Jersey to fight. It was early days.

Estil Wallace:

That’s crazy.

Jared Flash Gordon:

I remember I was wearing my Rhino Fight Team sweater. I was with like six guys that were my teammates. We were all fighting the same night. We all won. At the time, I was still being able to generate. I was selling drugs and smoking weed, and I remember getting in my car after the fight and driving down the Grand Central Parkway to my friend’s house. I was like, “I’m the fucking man.” I remember thinking, “I’m going to go smoke a bunch of…” We went and smoked weed. I thought I was the coolest person around. But I was hooked.

Jared Flash Gordon:

MMA was like something that it saved my life, for sure, MMA at the time until I found (bleep) and God. (Bleep) led me to God. That’s how it started for me, fighting.

Estil Wallace:

That’s fucking crazy. Let’s shift gears really fast. How old were you when you got into drugs and drinking? Young?

Jared Flash Gordon:

So I went to sleep away camp when I was a young kid, and I think it was my second year there I had gotten sexual assaulted by a male counselor, like full on rape. I came home that summer and I remember going back to school in September because that’s when school starts in New York. I remember sitting there and having flashbacks of taking it from this man, and I created this thing in my head where I would… Like if it came into my head, I would picture a guillotine or someone with a big sword chopping my head off and poof, the thought of that incident would go away.

Jared Flash Gordon:

Anytime I thought about it, I would just close my eyes really hard-

Estil Wallace:

I bet that piece of shit if he’s still alive prays you never find him.

Jared Flash Gordon:

Oh, he’s in prison, actually, the guy. So I created this mechanism to make the thought go away. So I stuffed all the feelings.

Estil Wallace:

Yeah, it’s fucking trauma.

Jared Flash Gordon:

Within a month of that-

Estil Wallace:

Find a way to move on.

Jared Flash Gordon:

Within a month of coming home, me and my brother and a friend of mine found some pot in my mother’s and father’s closet. They had a big walk-in closet. I remember always going in there like, “It smells like smoke in here.” Then we found this like a medicine… Not a medicine. A makeup case and it had rolling papers and a pipe and roach clips and joints and weed.

Estil Wallace:

A starter kit.

Jared Flash Gordon:

I remember being like, “Oh shit. Got some weed.” And we stole some weed. I remember going into a bush in a reservoir behind my house and smoking for the first time and getting high. I remember thinking to myself, “This is it. I found it. This is what I’m going to do with my life. I’m going to do drugs.”

Estil Wallace:

I’m going to get fucked up.

Jared Flash Gordon:

Yeah, and then I remember thinking, “Holy shit.” At that point, I had already taken sips of beer and alcohol, but then that’s when I started-

Estil Wallace:

Sure.

Jared Flash Gordon:

I was nine years old.

Estil Wallace:

You’re nine years old.

Jared Flash Gordon:

Nine years old. Yeah.

Estil Wallace:

So first of all, I’m horribly, horribly sorry that that happened to you.

Jared Flash Gordon:

Yeah. Don’t be sorry.

Estil Wallace:

It shouldn’t happen to children.

Jared Flash Gordon:

No, no, no, no, no. It should not. But I believe at this point in my life that this was supposed to happen to me for some stupid, disgusting reason. It wasn’t supposed to happen to me, but it had to happen this way for me to get to where I am so I could help other people.

Estil Wallace:

I wholeheartedly believe in silver linings. It would be hard to imagine your life turning out the way it has, as successful as you are, without going through all the pain and suffering you went through.

Jared Flash Gordon:

Yeah. Unfortunately. For me, that’s how everything goes. No matter what the process or situation is, there’s going to be a lot of suffering or struggle to get to point B.

Estil Wallace:

You’re like the phoenix from the ashes, man.

Jared Flash Gordon:

Yeah. I guess so. Yup.

Estil Wallace:

So not only are you a fucking bonafide badass and you have a serious drug problem. So now you’re getting into fighting. When did you go pro? So at 17, was that officially a professional fight?

Jared Flash Gordon:

No, that was amateur.

Estil Wallace:

That was amateur. When did you go pro?

Jared Flash Gordon:

So I had eight amateur fights, and then I went pro when I was 22.

Estil Wallace:

Fuck yeah, dude.

Jared Flash Gordon:

Yeah. And at that point, I was already fully addicted to opiates. So I started doing opiates when I was 18. Vicodin, Percocet, then found Oxies. Then you take them, take four of them, take 10 of them. No, that’s not working. Now I got to sniff them. Now I got to smoke them. Now I got to shoot them. Then I went to rehab. So I went pro.

Jared Flash Gordon:

I’m sorry. Let me start over. At that point, so I was selling lots of pills. I don’t want to glorify that, but I had tons of pills. I had given a bunch to my best friend to sell. Well, he didn’t wake up the next day. So he overdosed in his sleep. Then that was October 12, 2010. I went nuts drug-wise, using, using, using. I decided, “All right. I got to get out of this.” My now-fiancee, at the time, we were dating, broke up with me. I was like, “All right. I got to get out of New York or at least get out of the city.”

Jared Flash Gordon:

I met this kid who introduced me to a gym, which was in Ithaca, New York, which is like all the way upstate New York. Four and a half hours away from home, and I kicked cold turkey. Terrible. And I was training while kicking. I trained there for a month, and I got offered my pro debut on four day notice. I took it. Went pro. I won, beat the guy up. Finished the guy, rear naked choke in the second round, and that was the start of my pro career. That night in the casino, we were in a Resorts Casino in Atlantic City. I was like, “Well, there’s only one way to celebrate.” And that’s to shoot Opanas.

Jared Flash Gordon:

So I remember thinking like, “Man, I won this fight.” Once again, “I’m a badass.”

Estil Wallace:

It’s kind of-

Jared Flash Gordon:

I got a good high.

Estil Wallace:

It’s an affirmation of what happened the first amateur fight.

Jared Flash Gordon:

Pretty much same thing. Just harder drug, and then I remember waking up the next day. I’ve been clean for a month and a half, and I woke up, and I was like, “Oh, I need more opiates.” Right away that urge was there again, the cravings, and I remember using again. I remember I needed my friend to drive home because I was so nauseous. I was like throwing up out of the window on my way out of the AC, and I was like, “Let’s go home.” That was the start of another run.

Jared Flash Gordon:

I got pretty bad after that. That’s when I went to my first treatment down here in Florida actually. I had a good insurance at the time under my father’s business. They sent me to a treatment center down here. I AMA’d 17 days in, and I did something terrible there.

Jared Flash Gordon:

So on Sundays, it was like a free day at the treatment center. They took over a resort. The pool and the basketball course. It was like do what you want on Sundays. And we had phones in our apartment, like landlines. My friend who I ran around Queens with in high school moved to Miami. So I called him. I’m like, “Yo, come up here and pick me up.” “All right.” So I managed to somehow escape the rehab. I hopped over a fence with barbed wire, and I tore a huge hole in my shorts. So my ass is hanging out.

Jared Flash Gordon:

But I get in my friend’s car. We drive down to Miami. So I’m telling all the kids in treatment, “Yo, I’m going to escape today. Give me some money and I’ll buy some pills for everyone.” So I remember, I got 17 Oxytocins. I come back six hours later. I come back to the treatment center. I hop the fence. I get in. No one sees me. Idiots. I’m giving out pills to everyone in the treatment center. Right away everyone knows, all the staff members know these kids are high. Everyone’s fucking high.

Estil Wallace:

Everyone’s nodding out.

Jared Flash Gordon:

I’m not a moron. So in my head, I’m like, “Well, I’m not going to do mine. I’ll let everyone do theirs first.” They all got caught, and I didn’t. Then that night I got high, and by the next day, I was like, “Fuck this. I’m leaving.” And I just AMA’d.

Jared Flash Gordon:

So I came home, went on a run, went to treatment for six months to a therapeutic community. Actually, I was in a homeless shelter, which was also a treatment center. They kicked me out for fighting. I came home, my parents were like, “You can’t stay here. It’s either you get out or you go to treatment.” So I went to a longterm treatment called Samaritan Village, which really helped me. Upstate New York in Ellenville, New York. I was there for six months. 90% of the people there, they were mandated by the courts.

Estil Wallace:

Yeah, it’s the place you were talking about last night.

Jared Flash Gordon:

Yes.

Estil Wallace:

A longer term program.

Jared Flash Gordon:

Right. So I was there voluntarily. I did six months, came home, and then that’s when I met Coach Strout. Jason. I did well. I had my second pro fight with Jason and knocked the guy out. I had a couple more, and I went to Mexico. I fought in a tournament, which I won the whole thing. It was eight Mexicans versus eight Americans. I won the whole thing. I fought four times in a month. The grand prize was $100,000. I won the whole thing and never got paid.

Estil Wallace:

No.

Jared Flash Gordon:

They stiffed me on the 100Gs. Yeah.

Estil Wallace:

How can they get away with that?

Jared Flash Gordon:

Well, it was Mexico and it was like cartel stuff. Cartel money. So what was I going to do? Send someone down there to knock on doors? So I tore my shoulder labrum though in one of the fights there. So I had to have surgery two months after I got back. Surgery caused me to relapse. I wasn’t working the program at this point. No (bleep), no sponsor, no God. The only thing that was keeping me from using was MMA and having something to live for.

Jared Flash Gordon:

So I go back to treatment after going on a run. I have about a year and a half clean. I compile some more wins. I’m 9-0 as a professional MMA fighter. I got a chance to fight for a big regional promotion called Cage Fury Fighting Championships. I fought for them about eight times, nine times. I was winning the fight. I was going to be the champion. I would’ve been 10-0 as a professional and I was going to get a UFC contract.

Jared Flash Gordon:

I’m winning the fight, winning the fight, second or third round, I get kneed in the face.

Estil Wallace:

[inaudible 00:23:47].

Jared Flash Gordon:

Second round, I get kneed in the face. Breaks my orbital, cuts my nose, cuts the bridge of my eye. Between the second and the third round, they look at me, they let me go back into the third round. I fight the whole third round. I go back to the corner, my face is now swollen to nothing.

Estil Wallace:

I’m going to cut to a picture of that.

Jared Flash Gordon:

No problem. I have a good picture.

Jared Flash Gordon:

They stopped the fight.

Estil Wallace:

As they should’ve.

Jared Flash Gordon:

Yeah. So I remember going to the hospital, and the commissioner Nick Lembo, who I’m friends with to this day, was like, “Jared, look. If we don’t stop this fight, you’ll never fight again. You might not even ever fight again now. But if we let you go into that fourth round,” he was like, “there’s no way you would’ve ever came back from that.” So I go to the hospital. I remember being on the gurney. I’m still wearing my fight shorts. I’m covered head to toe in blood. And I remember the nurse. She goes, “Oh, it’s one of those MMA fighters.” I look at her, and I’m like, “This is my life and you’re treating me like I’m an animal or something.” I remember looking at her and being like, with my face out to here, and she didn’t want to look at me. Fucking bitch.

Jared Flash Gordon:

They had to take X-rays of my head right away. The doctor comes in the room, he says, “Look, the way your nerve of your eye is sitting between the fractures, it looks like you probably lost your vision and maybe your blind in your right eye. You’re probably never going to fight again.” So in my head, I’m like, “What do you mean? I was just winning that fight. I was supposed to win the belt, be 10-0 as a pro, and be going to UFC.” And the doctor’s like, “Yeah. You might have to…”

Estil Wallace:

You’re probably done.

Jared Flash Gordon:

“You’re probably done.” He’s like, “They only way we’ll be able to tell if you’re blind is if the swelling goes down and your eye opens up, and you can see. Or we pry your eye open right now.” So I was like, “Pry that bitch open.” He was like, “We’re going to have to give you a shot of morphine to do that.” My parents are with me bedside. They’re crying because they’re looking at me with my… I look like an alien. They’re like, “He’s a recovering heroin addict. What do you mean? He’s an opiate addict.” The doctors were like, “Well, the only way that we can do surgery for healing to occur is to control his pain levels so his muscles relax so we can do surgery because we got to do surgery on Monday.” This is Saturday night. He’s like, “We need all the contraction of your muscles to go down. We have to give him painkillers no matter what.”

Estil Wallace:

Of all the doctors that have written 30 scripts and rotten events where they gave people pain pills [inaudible 00:26:53], this was not it. That’s medically super appropriate.

Jared Flash Gordon:

Exactly. I had to have the medication. So my parents were like, “All right. Give it to him.” And I remember-

Estil Wallace:

How long did you use?

Jared Flash Gordon:

I’m sorry?

Estil Wallace:

How long did you use after that day?

Jared Flash Gordon:

That was May, December. Six months.

Estil Wallace:

Fuck. We give him one shot of morphine. Six months later…

Jared Flash Gordon:

Yeah. So they gave me a shot of morphine, and I remember looking at the needle and I was like, “Fuck yeah.” And they already have an IV in my arm, and I remember… just that warm feeling came over me, and pins and needles in my head and at the bottom of my feet and in my quads. Just stabbing feeling. I was like, “Yes.” Blaine came over me, and I was like, “All right. Now pry my eye open.” They needed two doctors, one doctor for my lower eyelid and the other one. I remember feeling them going like this because they couldn’t get to my eyelid because it was so swollen. I remember finally seeing light, and they’re like, “Okay, move your eye in this direction, move it in this direction. Now this way. Down to the right, down, straight down, down to the left.” Because they wanted to see that the muscles of my eye that control your eye movement weren’t damaged.

Jared Flash Gordon:

He’s like, “Can you see?” I was like, “I can see everything.” He’s like, “How’s the color?” I’m like, “Everything looks normal.” He’s like, “The way the X-ray…” He’s like, “I’ve never seen anything like this. Usually everything’s gone. The way the nerve is sitting in there, everything should be or partially blind or impaired.”

Jared Flash Gordon:

So now I’m in the head trauma unit because I had a massive concussion also. I remember it felt like I had an anvil sitting on my head. It was like the most pain. They doused me with everything. They gave me Valium. They gave me Dilaudid because they needed all the muscles and everything to… And they needed me to sleep because I can’t just be awake all night tossing and turning in pain. So I have passed out, and I remember waking up and being in the most unbelievable pain that I’ve ever experienced. I’ve been injured quite a few times.

Estil Wallace:

You fight for a living.

Jared Flash Gordon:

Yeah. So I remember just screaming for the nurse. I couldn’t even look for that button thing. I was just like, “Please, help me.” She came in, she’s like, “You all right?” I’m like, “I’m dying.” They hit me again. Every four hours for the next six days, they gave me a shot of Dilaudid. Then I had surgery on Monday. A cranium surgery from a cranial surgeon. And he put a plate in my face that sits like this. So it’s my medial, orbital and my orbital fora. Like a L-shaped plate that sits like this.

Estil Wallace:

They did a great job, man, because you look fine.

Jared Flash Gordon:

Yeah.

Estil Wallace:

I mean, you don’t look like you don’t fight, but you don’t look like disfigured.

Jared Flash Gordon:

The recovery sucked, man. It was so bad.

Estil Wallace:

I can only imagine. How long before your face started to… How long until you look like yourself again?

Jared Flash Gordon:

My eye was closed for two months.

Estil Wallace:

Oh, good.

Jared Flash Gordon:

I had double vision for seven months because the nerves and all the muscles around my eye were so inflamed, I had to see specialists that most people never have to see in their lives. So you go to ophthalmologist, you go to an optometrist. I had to see doctors that deal with the muscles of the eye. I had to wear prism glasses because I had triple vision for months. The prism glasses would bring it all to one. It was the most miserable time of my life.

Jared Flash Gordon:

I had the same surgery on my other eye but it wasn’t even close to as bad.

Estil Wallace:

And you’re just-

Jared Flash Gordon:

And that was nothing.

Estil Wallace:

You’re just using through the entire recovery.

Jared Flash Gordon:

So I came home from the hospital. They gave me a script to go home with. I took the script because I was dying. I was leaking out of my eye, puss and blood for days. It took forever for my eye to open. I was in so much pain. I laid in my room in the dark for about a week and a half because any light… I couldn’t pick my head up. It was miserable.

Jared Flash Gordon:

I stayed home for seven weeks and just ate pizza and just stayed home. I went to doctors. And then it was like August… So the fight was May 21st I think, 2015.

Estil Wallace:

Wow.

Jared Flash Gordon:

Around August comes, six-seven weeks later, whatever it was or July. It was the dead of the summer in New York, in Queens. Its like 100% humidity. It was like 100 degrees out. I remember I’m sitting on my couch, and all I can hear is… My parents went to our summer home hours away. No one was in the house. And I just remember hearing the AC clinking, like clink, clink, clink, clink, clink. And I’m just sitting there on the couch like there’s no TV on. I just remember there was nothing but air conditioning noise, and I remember just thinking, “Fuck this. I want to fucking get high.” Called a guy that I haven’t called in months. He answered on the second ring, “Yeah, I’ll be right there.”

Jared Flash Gordon:

Within six minutes, I had three bundles of heroin in my hand.

Estil Wallace:

And that’s the white powder stuff.

Jared Flash Gordon:

Yeah.

Estil Wallace:

No black tar.

Jared Flash Gordon:

Yeah. That black tar is the West Coast. It’s not real heroin. Just joking

Estil Wallace:

Then you get sober in December.

Jared Flash Gordon:

So I went on the run of my life and now I’m shooting cocaine and heroin. I’m speed walling. I’m in. I’m going nuts. I’m doing anything I can to get a dollar. Robbing drug dealers, robbing my parents, robbing my friends, robbing anything. Selling this, selling that.

Estil Wallace:

Selling your soul.

Jared Flash Gordon:

Selling my soul. Yeah. The only thing I didn’t do, which I thought about doing, was selling my ass. I luckily didn’t have to get to that point, which it could’ve gotten there fast. I panhandled. I’ve done all the homeless shelters. I’ve been in-

Estil Wallace:

Panhandling. Did you fly a sign?

Jared Flash Gordon:

I would do stupid shit like park my car next to a gas station down the road. “Ah, I ran out of gas.” People like, “Ah, here’s $50.” I’m like, “Ah, thanks. Thanks. Idiot.” Meanwhile, I have a half tank of gas. I would just… But I did come to the point where I was like on the street like, “Hey, can I please… I’m hungry. $5.”

Jared Flash Gordon:

Thanksgiving came. I wasn’t allowed home. So I’m like couch surfing. I’m sleeping on the street. I’m sleeping in hotels, motels if I had the money. Thanksgiving comes, passes. I’m doing my thing. December comes and I hit a huge score.

Estil Wallace:

And just to be clear, at this time, this is the darkness before the dawn. This is right before you get sober. You’re not really working. You’re not really training. You’re not fighting.

Jared Flash Gordon:

Nothing, no.

Estil Wallace:

You’re just fucking on it.

Jared Flash Gordon:

Yeah. Just going nuts. Yeah. And I’m trying to die. I’m like loading the spoon up. Not to glorify it, but I was buying cocaine from this Greek kid. It was like the best cocaine I’ve ever had in my life. Every time I would shoot it, I would have seizure. If I put a little too much on the spoon, I would cold cook it, and I would just go into full blown shaking seizures. I remember if I put too little, I would like wait for the seizure to come. If I didn’t have a seizure, I was like, “Fuck. I wasted that shot.”

Estil Wallace:

Wow. That’s the new bar. That’s the new low water mark. If I don’t seize…

Jared Flash Gordon:

I was like, “This is amazing.” So I had robbed this piece of shit for $6000. So I’m like, “Oh, great. I have money for the next couple weeks.” It was Christmas time. So I was like, “All right. I’m going to get a hotel. I’m going to buy a bunch of cocaine and heroin, and I’m going to fucking kill myself.” I remember putting it on the spoon. Like, “All right. 10 bags has to be enough to die with the seizure cocaine.” I would bang it, I would fucking seize out. I would come to and be like, “What? I’m still alive. This is amazing.”

Jared Flash Gordon:

So Christmas came. I’m in a hotel losing my mind because now I’m up for six days. I got kicked out of another hotel because I was making too much noise and doing crazy shit. I remember looking out of the window of the first hotel I was in, and there was a cop car, NYPD cop car sitting on the corner. I’m like, “Fuck. They’re here for me. I know they’re here for me.” It’s like snowing out.

Jared Flash Gordon:

I remember walking outside. I didn’t even have a T-shirt on and it’s like snowing. They’re looking at me as I approach the window, and they roll the window down. And they’re like, “Yeah?” And I’m like, “I know you guys are here for me.” And they’re like, “What?” And I was like, “Dude, I’m in the hotel right there. I know you’re here for me.” The guy was like, “We’re not here for you. Now please get away from us.” I’m like, “Come on, I know you’re here for me.” They’re like, “Look, we’re not here for you. Go back in the hotel and don’t come back outside.” They must’ve been staking someone else out.” So I’m like, “Oh fuck.”

Jared Flash Gordon:

So I go back inside, and I’m like, “What the fuck am I thinking?” Every now and then I had glimpses of like, “Okay. I need to chill. Come down, go to sleep.” And then the next day I remember getting kicked out. They’re like, “You got to get the fuck out of the hotel now.” The staff members. So I go to another hotel.

Estil Wallace:

The cops probably said something up front.

Jared Flash Gordon:

Probably yeah. “There’s a guy upstairs.”

Estil Wallace:

By the way, yeah [crosstalk 00:37:34]-

Jared Flash Gordon:

That guy’s getting high for sure.

Jared Flash Gordon:

So Christmas Eve come, my parents, everyone’s looking for me. My friend actually, asshole. He just committed suicide on the 16th of December. Was like searching for me high and low. This kid Sergio. Jason was searching for me. My parents, all my family, friends. I thought they were like tracking me through my phone. So I remember shutting my Find My iPhone off and all that as if… I don’t think anyone was even really doing that. It was just my paranoid mind.

Estil Wallace:

Yeah, yeah. I was super paranoid too.

Jared Flash Gordon:

But you know how that goes. So I get to the next hotel. I’m loaded with drugs. I go absolutely bonkers. So this is how my story ended. I was in my hotel, and I’m going like this. I think I’m seeing people. I swear, I thought there were midget cops in my room with me. I keep seeing shadows, and I’m going like this.

Estil Wallace:

It’s mini law enforcement.

Jared Flash Gordon:

Literally, all the dressers, I’m like, “He went into the dresser.” I’m kicking the dresser cabinets in. Literally every dresser. Flipping the dresser, flip the whole bed. There’s needles, spoons, bags of coke and heroin everywhere. Empty bags, needle caps, everything. I run out of the room, down the stairwell, into the… 11 floors, into the lobby. I’m carrying clothes and heroin in my hand because I was like, “I got to get my heroin and the needles.” I got all my clothes. I’m like, “Okay.” I got my cash. I’m running outside. I’m like just in a pair of jeans, no socks, no shirt. I’m sweating profusely, and I have needles and heroin and clothes in my hand. And the people at the front desk are like… There’s a woman and a man there checking in, and they’re looking at me frightened. It’s Christmas Eve. So no one was really out. Everyone was home. I’m just…

Jared Flash Gordon:

They’re like, “Is everything all right?” Then I come to. I’m like, “Yeah, everything’s fine. I’m just going to go back upstairs.” I go back upstairs. I start banging away again. Then all of a sudden knock, knock, knock. And I’m like, “That’s the cops.” Then they take me outside. They cuff me. They take me outside. They sit me down against the Best Western right across the street from Queens Bridge, which is the largest housing projects in Queens.

Jared Flash Gordon:

I’m sitting there on the floor, no socks. I remember looking at my feet, and it’s like snowing but the floor is wet. I’m steaming. I’m steaming because I’m so hyped up, and it’s snowing. I’m sweating profusely, and they’re looking at me like… The ambulance comes, and I overdose in the ambulance.

Jared Flash Gordon:

I remember before I overdosed, I was like… They’re like, “Look, we’re just going to…” I’m like, “Where’s my drugs?” They’re like, “We’re taking that.” And they’re like, “But we’re not going to bring you to jail. We’re going to cut you lose in the hospital.” Then that’s all I remember.

Jared Flash Gordon:

I wake up a day and a half later, Christmas Day, it’s the 26th. I wake up, and I’m like, “Fuck. I’m so dope sick.” I slept for like 18 hours. So now I’m sick. I ripped the IV out of my arm. I grab my shit. I have no shoes. I remember my feet were hurting so bad because I was running up and down the stairway in the Best Western.

Estil Wallace:

Hey, the invisible bureau of investigation is scary.

Jared Flash Gordon:

Yes.

Estil Wallace:

They’re scary.

Jared Flash Gordon:

And my feet were killing me. I remember thinking, “Why are my feet hurting so bad?” I never felt anything like it. My feet were sore as if someone beat them with a baseball bat. I get in a cab and I go home on Christmas Day, and my dad opens the door and I can see his eyes. He just starts crying. They were like, “You can’t be here.” I was like, “Just get me a pair of sneakers and a sweater. I’m going to detox right now.” At the time, I had my sponsor Tommy who was trying to help me. I was in and out, in and out of the rooms. In and out of rehabs. He just wouldn’t give up on me, this guy.

Jared Flash Gordon:

So I call him, he’s like, “Go to flush and detox right now.” But first, I have to get high because I’m dope sick. Same guy, “Hey.” “Yeah, I’ll be right there.” Four minutes later I’m high. So amazing how they’re so on it, those guys. No matter what time or how long it’s been since I’ve spoke to them, could be a year, could be a day, “Hey.” Fuck, this guy’s good.

Jared Flash Gordon:

I get high. Go to detox. The last day I used was December 26th, 2015. My clean date, my first day without using is the 27th of December 2015. I’ve been sober ever since.

Estil Wallace:

You’ve got five years. Congratulations.

Jared Flash Gordon:

Thank you.

Estil Wallace:

And it’s not really the time so much as it is a whole entire life change.

Jared Flash Gordon:

Yeah.

Estil Wallace:

Congratulations on a newer, better version of your life.

Jared Flash Gordon:

Thank you.

Estil Wallace:

Wild. What a wild ride. So you get sober, and you’re like, “Oh yeah. I’m a fucking professional athlete. Maybe I should do that.”

Jared Flash Gordon:

I have great pictures for you too if you want to post them. So I went into rehab 163 pounds of skin and bones. I come out of rehab like 48 days later after 12 days of detox and 34 days of treatment or whatever. It was something like that. I am fat as shit. 210 pounds of just fat and bones.

Estil Wallace:

210.

Jared Flash Gordon:

Yeah, gained that because I wasn’t eating anything for weeks. So I was just… As soon as my body started getting nutrients again, it was just like, “We need all of this.” So it didn’t burn anything. It just took it all in as like fat source. The place that I went to treatment was called Creedmoor, and they had alcohol, substance abuse treatment center. State run facility. The food was like the food you get in jail. The facilities were disgusting. There was literally shit on the walls in the bathroom. Peanut butter on the walls. People would just put peanut butter on the walls, and I remember being in the hot shower like, “It feels so good.” There was cigarette butts on the floor in the shower, pubes and nasty shit.

Jared Flash Gordon:

That place saved my life, and I found God in there. I remember my sponsor’s like… I’m like, “What do I do?” And he was like, “Pray. Pray and read the doctor’s opinion.” Which I already read like a million times by that time, but I had to re-read it obviously.

Jared Flash Gordon:

I remember it snowed five feet. Do you remember that? That winter. It was January something I got in there. It was like January 10th, and I remember being in the rehab and just seeing this snow pile up. I was like, “Oh, fuck. I’m really stuck here now.” But I remember thinking it was so warm in there, and I was like, “I feel so safe.” I was with people I never met. This is also a mandated facility. So everyone’s a criminal. But I was like right where I had to be at that moment.

Jared Flash Gordon:

I was talking to my sponsor any chance I can get while I was there. I came out, and I dove right into AA head first and got back to fighting slowly. I was so weak. I destroyed my body. I couldn’t even do a set of 20 push-ups. I couldn’t do more than five pull-ups. I was so weak, and I was fat as crap. So everything just felt so hard. I remember doing pull-ups like as if I had a 60 pound weight vest on right now. It took me a while.

Jared Flash Gordon:

Jason let me back in the gym. I remember on the way from detox to the treatment, I was in the van. I got my phone back for a little bit. I called Jason, and he’s like, “Look, I’m happy that you’re getting help. But this is the last time that you can come back to the gym. You get clean now, you come back to the gym. If you ever…” I remember thinking at that time, “I’m never going to fuck up,” because of what he just said. That was one of the reasons why I stayed sober at first. Like, “I don’t want to fuck this up.”

Jared Flash Gordon:

That was February. In July, I fought for that title again. The CFFC title. They gave me a shot at the belt again. So the guy that I lost to won the belt. He lost it to another guy, and I fought that guy. No, I’m sorry. They vacated the title. I fought one guy, knocked him out in the first round. Then I took a short notice fight at 55 a couple weeks after that. I won that fight. Then I fought that guy, Bill Algeo who’s now in the UFC as well. We’re friends now. He was talking so much shit to me before that fight, and I went in there, I beat him up, and I won the fight. Dana White was there that night.

Estil Wallace:

So that was your comeback fight you won.

Jared Flash Gordon:

No, no. This was my third fight back.

Estil Wallace:

Okay.

Jared Flash Gordon:

So I won the title, took a fight at a higher weight class, short notice, won that fight. Then I went back to defend my title against Bill, and I won. Dana White was there that night. I was the main event, and they signed me that night to UFC. And I’ve been in UFC ever since.

Estil Wallace:

Congratulations.

Jared Flash Gordon:

It’s been quite a road since then as well. But I don’t have to use drugs anymore.

Estil Wallace:

Besides how rich and full your life is now, I can only imagine what a devastatingly good fighter you are now. Who’s this guy you’re fighting next? You got a fight coming up real soon.

Jared Flash Gordon:

Yeah. Danny Chavez. He actually trains here in Miami.

Estil Wallace:

You guys know each other?

Jared Flash Gordon:

No. I never met him. We know of each other obviously. But tough guy, dangerous in some aspects. Style-wise I think it’s a great match-up for me. I truly believe I’m the better fighter, the more well-rounded fighter. Go in there, whip some ass, get the W, and keep on to the next one.

Estil Wallace:

How many fights… And this is featherweight?

Jared Flash Gordon:

Featherweight.

Estil Wallace:

You’re featherweight. That’s where you fight, and how many fights are you out from taking the championship?

Jared Flash Gordon:

You never know. Anything could happen.

Estil Wallace:

Moving target.

Jared Flash Gordon:

Yeah. So there’s so many variables that lead you there or could lead you somewhere else. So I really couldn’t give you… I would like to say in two years I’ll be fighting for the belt.

Estil Wallace:

I’ll be following with a lot of excitement, man. Wanted to ask you too about the love of your life. First of all, we were…

Jared Flash Gordon:

Who? Jason?

Estil Wallace:

Let’s pan.

Jared Flash Gordon:

Pan to [inaudible 00:50:26]. Yeah. There he is. Look at that guy. Stud.

Estil Wallace:

Your fiancee. You’re engaged to be married. And you guys known each other, you two, since you were in first grade, five or six years old. And she’s been under the American Ninja, right?

Jared Flash Gordon:

American Ninja Warrior. Yes.

Estil Wallace:

American Ninja Warrior. We were just watching her. She’s a badass too.

Jared Flash Gordon:

Yeah, we just watched her. I hope she’s happy. I think she’s going to be happy with her performance today. She’s been training. She’s got quite the story as well. She’s not a recovering addict. She’s not an addict or alcohol.

Estil Wallace:

She’s practically a fucking saint for putting up with you all these years.

Jared Flash Gordon:

Oh yes. She’s been through a lot. We had a crazy year this past year. She had a miscarriage. We lost-

Estil Wallace:

Deeply, deeply sorry.

Jared Flash Gordon:

We’re trying to have a child. So we lost the baby then. We got into a bad accident in Utah. We were in Utah on vacation in her RV. We got into a bad car accident, and she hurt her back really bad. Since August, she’s been on the come back from that energy. She performed, competed. Super proud of her. She’s a badass. She definitely keeps me in check. She’s the boss. If it wasn’t for her, I don’t know what I’d be doing. She was always that thing too that I clinged to. Started dating when we were 19. She was always the one. I dated other girls between, and they were never… It just never felt right. She was always… That’s my sweetheart, Christina.

Estil Wallace:

That’s awesome, man. Really happy for you two. Yeah, look forward to seeing the fight.

Estil Wallace:

Those of you that are watching this, I’m going to post all the deets in the description. Make sure you watch this guy fight. It’s coming up here just in a few days. Amazing story of transformation. I guess I only really got one more question for you.

Jared Flash Gordon:

All right.

Estil Wallace:

In this country right now, there’s about 500 people like you and me dying every day from drugs and alcohol. Out of the million or so people every year that don’t get help, about 400,000 of them don’t get help because they’re scared, get this, of what somebody fucking thinks. They’re scared of stigma. What would you say to somebody who wants to get help, knows their life is on a hard course of self destruction, but they’re scared? What would you say?

Jared Flash Gordon:

I would say you got to do for yourself first off, and that you got to really want to help yourself to get better. But that the stigma is bullshit. If you had cancer, would you say, “Ah, I’m not going to go get the help.” You would run to get help for treatment. This is a disease. You can turn your story into a inspiration for someone else. So not only is it you’re helping yourself but now you have the chance to help countless other souls. You have to just make that jump and the naysayers can go F themselves.

Jared Flash Gordon:

You’re not alone also. There’s hundreds of people that are in sobriety that have had probably worse stories than yours. There’s always someone that has a more embarrassing, scarier, more unbelievable story than yours. So you’re not unique, first off, and you’re no different than anyone else that has reached out for help. So I think that’s the bottom line really.

Estil Wallace:

That’s good shit, man. Wishing you the best of fortune on your journey, the upcoming fight, man. I’ll be watching with tons of excitement, man. I’ll be rooting you on from the sidelines.

Jared Flash Gordon:

Thank you.

Estil Wallace:

Thank you for your time.

Jared Flash Gordon:

Appreciate it. Thanks for having me.