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Jared Gordon ‘devastated’ over controversial loss to Paddy Pimblett: ‘It’s probably one of the worst decisions ever’

UFC 282: Pimblett v Gordon Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC

A few days removed from UFC 282 and Jared Gordon is still trying to process how he has a loss on his record to Paddy Pimblett.

Despite what was widely regarded as a winning performance, the New York native heard the scorecards all read 29-28 in favor of his opponent. Gordon was understandably dejected as soon as the decision was announced, and truth be told, he’s still trying to process everything that happened.

“It’s heartbreaking,” Gordon told MMA Fighting. “I’m devastated. But there’s nothing I can do obviously. We’ll see what comes with it.”

While he went into the fight as a decided underdog, Gordon controlled the majority of the exchanges with Pimblett as he constantly landed his combinations including a left hook that was finding a home nearly every time he threw it. Pimblett certainly fired back with his fair share of strikes but Gordon almost always got the better of the exchanges through the first two rounds.

The action slowed considerably in the third round as Gordon opted to press Pimblett against the cage and look for takedowns. Gordon offers no excuses for his performance in those final five minutes but it turns out he was slightly compromised from an injury suffered earlier in the fight.

“I really hurt my ankle in the first round. Bad,” Gordon revealed. “I was still throwing kicks, but by the time the third round came, it hurt a lot to push off of it and to be on it. I knew I was better everywhere. I reversed his takedowns. Took him down. Better control time. Better in the clinch against the fence. My punches landed cleaner and better. I was landing really good leg kicks. I figured it could go three rounds. I wish I could have done a couple of things differently, especially in the third round but I thought I won every round.

“He said he coasted in the third round, and in my head, I won the first two rounds, I’m winning this round, let’s not play it stupid so let me just do what I’m doing on the cage, I’m going for the takedown. I had his back for a little bit standing. When you’re in there, it’s a lot different than when you watch it from outside the cage but I thought I had won. But obviously there was different plans.”

According to Gordon, the ankle injury occurred from the leg kicks he threw early in the fight, which landed on Pimblett’s calf and shin bone. It turns out it’s the same ankle injury that Gordon suffered in a previous fight with Grant Dawson but it was never serious enough to require anything more than physical therapy.

“It was hard for me to bounce around on it,” Gordon said. “It’s my right ankle so it’s my back foot so that’s where my power’s coming from. It is what it is. You get hurt in fights obviously.

“I thought I was winning there. I was controlling him. I was landing knees. I was trying to take him down. I was going up, I was going down, I was changing levels. It’s not like I was just holding him. I was trying to take him down.”

Regardless of his ankle, Gordon still felt fully confident that he did more than enough to secure the victory and rewatching the fight only strengthened his belief.

“When I watched the fight back, I was like I won every round,” Gordon said. “I believe 99.9 percent of the world thinks I won, too. It’s not like it could have gone either way. No, I clearly won. But Doug Crosby is blind or something and I know the other guys had it going the other way, too, but I don’t know how anybody could have given him all the rounds. It’s impossible.”

The judges — Doug Crosby, Ron McCarthy and Chris Lee — only scored the second round unanimously for Pimblett with the first and third rounds split between the officials.

In Gordon’s mind, he should have taken all three rounds or at worst left the cage with a 29-28 unanimous decision in his favor. Instead, he left with a loss and he’s still struggling to understand why.

“It’s probably one of the worst decisions ever,” Gordon said. “It’s got to be top three worst decisions ever in UFC history, I would imagine at this point. I lost out on a lot of opportunity. Money, I lost out on a couple of sponsors that were in the works that I haven’t heard about yet since the fight. A loss on my record. What do they do with me now?

“It’s so fresh still so I’ve got to see how it all pans out. I’ve got so much stuff going through my head. One moment, I’m like this isn’t that bad. The next moment, I’m devastated. I’m like all right, I should be grateful, I fell all right. Then I think about everything and then I’m devastated again. It’s sad. I don’t know what to say. I don’t know what to think anymore. I lost out on a lot. But whatever, I believe most of the world knows who the real winner was.”

In the aftermath of the fight, Pimblett lashed out at the suggestion that he somehow lost while stating rather adamantly that he was confident in his victory. Pimblett even went as far as saying that he probably should have earned a 30-27 scorecard with all three rounds going his way.

Reacting to those comments, Gordon wasn’t upset because he understands there’s no way the outspoken Liverpool native is going to just concede defeat but in reality there’s no way Pimblett actually believes he was victorious at UFC 282.

“He’s got to continue with the whole personality and his schtick,” Gordon said. “Before the fight, he said he was going to knock me out in the first round. I came closer to hurting him than he hurt me. If you look at my face, I have scratches, they’re literally scratches I don’t know what from and I have this little black eye. People are like damage! Damage is scratches? It’s not like I got cut wide open or something.

“Then after the fight, he’s saying he won all three rounds, but he’s got to keep it going. It doesn’t really annoy me. That’s just the way he is. That’s him. That’s what he’s going to continue to do. He’s never going to say that he lost. That’s ridiculous. He knows deep down inside what happened. So does everyone else on his team. So do all the fans. He’s not a stupid person and neither are the people around him. He definitely knows that I beat him. There’s no way he could watch that fight and [think] yeah, I won.”

The sting of the decision is still burning right now but Gordon is doing his best to look forward to the future when addressing what comes next.

Ideally, Gordon would like the chance to run it back with Pimblett again — hopefully this time with far less controversy — and he’s even willing to travel into enemy territory to make it happen.

“The only thing that I think makes sense is a rematch, and I’ll go to London to fight him,” Gordon said. “I don’t care. It doesn’t matter. I’m super bitter right now, obviously, it’s been three days and I can’t see the silver lining yet but there obviously is one but it’s going to take some time to become apparent.

“If he thinks he’s going to get into the top 15 or top 10, he’s going to need more experience before that. Everyone in the top 15 is a straight savage. If he can overcome two fights with me, maybe he’s ready but so far he lost the first fight. So it only makes sense to see where he’s really at and do it again. I think it just makes sense, especially for where he’s at in his career and the experience he has. He couldn’t get past me. It would be great for me, too, obviously and I want it back.

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