Jared Gordon: Paddy Pimblett's call for rematch shows 'I'm clearly living rent free in his head'

LAS VEGAS – Jared Gordon thinks a rematch with Paddy Pimblett would be a step backwards if he beats Bobby Green on Saturday at UFC Fight Night 222.

Gordon (19-6 MMA, 7-5 UFC) suffered a controversial unanimous decision loss to Pimblett (20-3 MMA, 4-0 UFC) at UFC 282 in December in a result that was deemed MMA Junkie’s Robbery of the Year for 2022. At first, Pimblett was extremely defiant toward anyone who suggested he lost, but in subsequent months he changed perspective and admitted it was closer than he originally believed.

More recently, however, Pimblett has taken a hard pivot. After undergoing ankle surgery this past month, Pimblett posted a video from his hospital bed and aggressively called for a rematch with Gordon, so long as he can defeat Green (29-14-1 MMA, 10-9-1 UFC) in their featured lightweight bout this weekend at the UFC Apex. The card streams on ESPN+.

Gordon said he’s not against the idea of running it back, but said the UFC would have to give him the right deal.

“I’m clearly living rent free in his head,” Gordon told MMA Junkie and other reporters on Wednesday at UFC Fight Night 222 media day. “He just had surgery, and he’s in his recovery room in the hospital, and the first couple words he’s talking about is Jared Gordon. If I thought I won a fight and I wanted to move on and upward, I wouldn’t be talking about Paddy Pimblett from my hospital bed. But it’s not just me living rent-free in his head. It’s every other media outlet and person in the industry. Joe Rogan, Nate Diaz, I think said something. A bunch of people know I won the fight.

“If it was worth it for me, but when I get past Bobby, that’s fighting backwards. So, unless they give me some really big spot and it would put me in the spotlight obviously and it would grow my brand and grow me as a fighter, but at that point, it’s more of risk for me fight-wise after I get through Bobby. But if they offer me something good and money, I might think about it.”

Gordon admits the aftermath of the high profile contest and debated result against Pimblett has ultimately been a good thing for his career. He didn’t get the victory on his resume or the full purse that would’ve come with a win, but he said the impact was so significant it proved positive.

“His fans are my fans now,” Gordon said. “Every now and then there’s someone who’s like, ‘You’re Paddy’s son’ or something like that. But if you look at his page, people send me screenshots of the comments of his page that say, ’30-27 Gordon’ or ‘Gordon’s son.’ But I would say 99 percent of the world MMA fans thought I won that fight. People from Liverpool and London constantly message me, ‘Oh, you beat Paddy, you’ve got to fight him again.’ With that decision, the only thing I really missed out on was the other half of my check. Which sucked, but I’m not like struggling for money, so I think it might’ve been a better thing for me the way things turned out.'”

Just over four months after the Pimblett fight, Gordon moves on to his next assignment against fellow longtime veteran Green. It’s a matchup that has its own set of challenges for Gordon, he said, but it’s just what he wants. Pimblett may bring all the media attention and fight hype, but skill-for-skill, Green is a different animal.

“He’s really good,” Gordon said. “He’s beat a lot of really good guys. He’s got great boxing, great, underrate wrestling. He’s got great takedown defense, he knows how tog et up underneath people. It’s going to be a puzzle for me. I think besides Diego Ferreira and Charles Oliveira, this is my toughest fight to date. Definitely tougher than Paddy. But that’s why I’m here. To fight the best guys and climb the ranks. Everything that I’ve gone through and where I stand in my career and where Bobby stands, I think it’s the perfect fight for me right now.”