Eddie kindly agreed to this interview where he relays his thoughts on the changes in the UFC, the drug epidemic in MMA, weight cutting issues and Bellator.
Eddie “Truck” Gordon is a middleweight mixed martial artist who has competed for the UFC. He most recently participated in the reality TV show “The Ultimate Fighter (TUF)” for the “TUF: Redemption” series under coach Cody Garbrandt. Additionally he is also a former winner of the series succeeding in “TUF 19” in the middleweight division.
Since the series, Eddie has been active on social media promoting motivational speaking and has written a book detailing his inspiring story throughout his life. This story also been featured as an Emmy award winning documentary.
In terms of fighting, Eddie Gordon is still focused on returning to the cage and has plans to fight in February or March.
If you are interested in Eddie “Truck” Gordon, please follow him on social media platforms @TruckMMA_UFC. If you want to read his new book which is a fascinating insight into the MMA world, the link is: https://www.amazon.com/Forever-TRUCKIN-Mastering-Will-Win/dp/0999608614/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1510501484&sr=8-1&keywords=forever+truckin
Furthermore, if you want to see the video interview it can be found here, it is in parts though: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rQa8pP4SXzw&t=4s
KJ: Do you think UFC was better before? Has the game changed and do fighters have to trash talk?
EG: The game has changed. The old UFC, the best fighters fought the best person. You see guys now who aren’t that high ranked moving onto title fights earning millions of dollars because of their mouth and their trash talk.
UFC sold for £4 billion dollars and they have to recoup that money and they got to do something about it. It is not the best thing for the sport but for the entertainment aspect that’s what puts money in their pockets and its scary.
Tyron Woodley is backing it up and defending his belt and doing what most champions are not and that is fighting. You got to give him credit but he’s touching on political things that aren’t rubbing off too well with the fans.
KJ: What are your thoughts on the drug problem in MMA?
EG: Look at these guys, they know they are getting drug tested. They know it’s random. Nine out of ten times they know they are going to get caught and they are still doing it so they can get that little advantage.
Until the punishment is like the death penalty, guys will risk it. Especially those guys who are fighting once or twice a year, getting paid millions of dollars. They get suspended for a year and they still get their check. They’ll train and lift, they will fight and be ready once their suspension has been lifted. What is the real punishment? These fighters are so wrapped up into getting an advantage they aren’t thinking about results. It’s horrible.
I fought a guy who was on steroids and their camps knew they were taking steroids and it’s like what are you going to do. You aren’t going to take the fight? You’re going to pass up on it or you’re going to risk it and go for it. I’ve lost to guys on steroids and beaten guys on steroids. So for me it’s frustrating.
KJ: Speaking further on the drug problem, what are your thoughts on Jon Jones?
EG: Its crazy and when you think of Jon, it’s more sad. Do I feel bad for Jon? It’s a catch 22 again. You can only feel bad for someone only so many times. Jon has been blessed with many different opportunities and a lot of second, third and fourth chances. It’s just bad decisions. Is he a malicious bad person? No.
He has the wrong people around him. People that want to use him. People that say they love him but could care less. It’s not enough people telling him the right thing to do. When you get away with hitting a pregnant woman and not serving any jail time, there are real repercussions. You fail a drug test and you get a slap on the wrist. There is always something that prevents him from getting into real trouble and that is a real problem to his personal growth and development.
KJ: What are your views on weight cutting?
EG: Cutting weight is under talked about and its miserable. There’s a reason why on these count down shows, they never really highlight it. They don’t talk about it because it is a black eye on the sport. Everyone is doing it and it’s miserable. I used to cut weight the wrong way and it has literally robbed years of my life. It made me question whether I really want to do this.
Everybody loves fighting. We love to go in there and train and compete. But when you are sitting there on the brink of death to make weight, then you got to rehydrate and go there and perform against some of the toughest guys in the world 24 hours later. It’s tough and most guys just don’t understand that. They can’t wrap their head around it. They think what you see is all in that cage. But there are other things going on in life.
I think they are trying to get the drastic weight cutting out but the worst thing for a fighter is themself. We always look for advantages.
It’s why you see so many guys changing weight classes because they have to. Nobody trains six day weeks as hard as us fighters. They’re not tired after a 15 minute fight, they’re tired because they’re body is drained. That’s the problem.
KJ: What are your thoughts on the UFC model?
EG: Take the NBA and the NBA promotes the players. The players are individuals and now it’s a global sport. Take the NFL and the NFL doesn’t promote the players like the NBA does. Its more about the NFL shield and that’s the route that the UFC has gone.
The UFC believes they can make a new star and make sure they keep the brand bigger than the fighter. Conor McGregor has thrown a monkey wrench into that and it’s almost like the UFC created a monster. It’s a catch 22 and it’s looking like the UFC is going to unfold.
You got to understand the UFC has only been around for 20 years. It’s in the baby stage and its one of the fastest growing sports in the world and its exciting where its going.
KJ: What are your thoughts on the UFC uniform policy inhibiting fighters earning that much money?
EG: We are independent contractors but we are being told to wear a uniform. UFC is allowed to get sponsors and those sponsors are getting paid but when you have them on your kit, you are only getting paid by one sponsor and that is Reebok. You’re not going to get that side money from them unless you are one of the bigger fighters.
But the sport needs the middleclass. You don’t want a top-heavy division. Change is coming, no doubt about it. But it’s going to be the change that people don’t want to see and the change they won’t expect. I don’t think the UFC is going away from Reebok but it might be somebody else.
KJ: Do you feel Bellator are doing it right? As they are bringing in fighters like Gegard Moussasi and Rory Mcdonald.
EG: People don’t realise Bellator has a lot of money and a lot of backing because they are owned by Viacom.
When you look at guys like Ryan Bader, he probably wasn’t going to win a title in the UFC. Every time he knocked on that doorstep he either lost the fight or wasn’t given that big fight because he wasn’t a fan pleaser. Now he’s going to Bellator, getting paid a lot more base money plus his sponsors and has a lot of eyeballs watching him. He made a decision, am I going to support my family or keep chasing this dream.
UFC does a great job marketing but in the end you got to feed your family and it is a job. That’s why you are seeing the Moussassi’s and these fighters migrate and now they are teasing the free agency market and it is a great thing for these fighters.
KJ: Thank you Eddie for this opportunity, it was brilliant to talk to you. Just a little shout out is there anything you want to say?
EG: I want to thank you for reaching out. It was certainly a pleasure. I love doing these things because who knows you might blow up? Might be bigger than Ariel Helwani.
My legacy is not going to be about how many fights I won, cars I owned or houses I bought. It’s going to be about how many lives I’ve touched. That is why I’m talking to you and we are going to touch tonnes of lives. So I’m super excited.
KJ: Thank you for being an inspirational role model especially in MMA where it is not common and importantly people should read this book! Follow Eddie and subscribe.
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