Jared Gordon will compete this Saturday in his fifth fight under the UFC banner, but his biggest battle has always been outside the Octagon.
The 30-year-old recently celebrated his three-year anniversary of sobriety, and while he continues to focus on his fight career, he believes his greater purpose is sharing the tools he's learned outside of the sport with those struggling with addiction.
"I've come to the conclusion, that's why I'm here," Gordon told theScore. "My purpose is not to be an amazing fighter or be a champion, which obviously is part of the goal. I'm just doing that so I can do what I really want to do which is help others. I truly believe that if your purpose isn't bigger than yourself and then you really don’t have a purpose.
"Anytime someone messages me, which is almost every day - I always answer, no matter what. No matter where or what time it is, I'll answer you and I'll respond to you. I'll give you the time of day because it’s part of my duty. That's why I'm here."
Gordon (14-3) will look to snap a two-fight skid when he faces Dan Moret (13-5) at UFC on ESPN 3. Like any public figure on social media, Gordon endures his share of negativity. His struggles with addiction were brought up on Twitter in the fall after he replied to a post by professional boxer Amanda Serrano.
"Even if you're drilling or watching, your brain cannot absorb that much information," Gordon explained. "It was stupid. She was lying through her teeth (and) got mad because I made her look like an idiot. Then she was like, 'You're a junkie, no wonder you're a f------ heroin addict, you got knocked out in your last fight.' Then she blocked me on Twitter, Instagram, or everything.
"(Her fans) were trying to make it a sexist thing. She went low because she's obviously not a classy person. She doesn't know what it's like to deal with someone who has an addiction problem. I understand because there are a lot of ignorant people out there."
UFC on ESPN 3 takes place this Saturday at Target Center in Minneapolis, Minn. Former heavyweight champion Junior Dos Santos faces Francis Ngannou in the main event.
Watch the full interview with Gordon below and subscribe to theScoreMMA Youtube channel here.