Eddie “Truck” Gordon hasn’t worked in the finance world since his mixed martial arts career first bloomed, but he’s taken one principle to heart — diversify.
Freeport’s Gordon is plotting his next move in the cage, but the former UFC fighter has enough going on outside the sport these days to keep busy.
“One thing I did learn in college is that those multi-billionaires, they have seven streams of income,” Gordon said. “If one slows down, you still have cash flow coming in.”
Gordon won season 19 of “The Ultimate Fighter,” but a career in MMA never was a thought. He was a star on the football field at Freeport High School and played at Fordham while earning a business degree, but pro football was never the plan either.
“I knew I wanted to get a good education,” Gordon said. “I’m a numbers guy, that’s why I was in finance. In football, the numbers are not in your favor. Do you want to sit there and go to Arena leagues, Canadian league, kind of hope to go the NFL one day? I didn’t want to live that life.” After college, Gordon said he worked at JP Morgan before moving to a private publishing company as a financial adviser. An outing with his co-workers brought him to Philadelphia for UFC 101 in 2009. A former wrestler, Gordon fell in love with MMA watching legend Anderson Silva knock out Forrest Griffin.
“I told them, ‘I could do this,’ and they all laughed at me,” Gordon said.
Gordon put together a respectable MMA career, going 8-4 with a 1-3 mark in the UFC, the lone victory clinching his “TUF” title. He returned to the show for a “redemption” season this year but lost in the first round. At a career crossroads, Gordon isn’t taking much for granted.
“Most athletes don’t realize that you are a brand and you can only fight for so long,” Gordon said. “At times we feel like we’re invincible, but that’s the furthest thing from the truth. We don’t know when it’s going to be our last fight.”
Gordon still lives in Freeport with his four young boys and is engaged to be married later this year.
The uncertainty of MMA has Gordon planning for the future. Even before his fighting career, Gordon had a custom cabinet business with his father that they still manage. He started a health beverage line that he dubs “weight-loss coffee” that he said has been profitable.
Gordon’s newest work as a motivational speaker is the venture he’s most passionate about.
As part of a sponsorship deal, Gordon gave a speech to employees at the company. A business partner of his sponsor then asked if Gordon could speak to their company. From there, Gordon started offering his services for workshops and graduations.
“I’m passionate about it. I went to a couple of schools and I got that same adrenaline rush talking to these kids,” Gordon said. “I thought, if I had someone come talk to me, I would probably have believed in myself a little more, who knows, maybe started a little earlier. So talking to kids, I love it. I got more opportunities to talk to companies and some other things, and it pays well, so to do something I love that doesn’t really feel like work, that’s awesome.”
Speaking to children inspired him to start the Eddie Truck Gordon Foundation, the purpose of which is to reach out to underprivileged kids and help battle drug addiction.
“I want to show them that it doesn’t matter where you came from, as long as you believe in yourself there’s a light at the end of the tunnel,” Gordon said.
Gordon, who turns 34 later this month, also is turning his experience into a book.
“I never thought in my life that I would be writing a book, but after doing all this speaking, people kept saying they wanted something to walk away with,” Gordon said. “I thought it would be a lot easier, I have to give authors and writers a lot of credit.”
Despite the full plate, Gordon isn’t relaxing his training. He last fought for CFFC in August 2016, defeating Chris Lozano in a split decision.
With “TUF” behind him, Gordon has been training for the inaugural RISE Submission Invitational, a grappling event at The Space at Westbury on July 29, where he’ll face former UFC fighter Chris Cope.
“It’s my first grappling tournament, and I’m using it to work on my weaknesses. That’s only going to make me a better fighter,” Gordon said. “There’s no pressure for me. I get to grapple with some of the best guys in the world every single day for free. Not taking anything away from Chris Cope, but he’s not Matt Serra.”
Gordon said he’s received multiple fight offers since “TUF Redemption,” some better than those he got after winning the show in 2014. A UFC return would be nice, but in a changing MMA landscape, Gordon believes it’s not a requirement to continue growing as a fighter and brand.
“I think right now, it’s probably the best I’ve been mentally for fighting,” Gordon said. “I’m stable, I don’t have to take fights for the money. Now I can actually pick and choose when I’m going to fight, who I’m going to fight, and it gives me so much freedom.”
|EDDIE GORDON’S UFC FIGHT HISTORY|
|July 6, 2014||Ultimate Fighter Finale 19||Dhiego Lima||Won by KO, Round 1, 1:11|
|Dec. 6, 2014||UFC 181||Josh Samman||Lost by KO, Round 2, 3:07|
|April 18, 2015||UFC on Fox 15||Chris Dempsey||Lost by split decision, Round 3, 5:00|
|June 27, 2015||UFC Florida||Antonio Carlos Junior||Lost by submission, Round 3, 4:37|
Photographers: Chris Ware, Jeffrey Basinger